PITTSBURGH (AP) — J.C. Hassenauer will get a shot at being the potential replacement for retired Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey.

The Steelers signed the 25-year-old Hassenauer to a one-year contract on Monday. Hassenauer, who appeared in 15 games for the Steelers in 2020 and made four starts, was an exclusive rights free agent.

Pittsburgh is in the market for a center after Pouncey, a nine-time Pro Bowler, retired on Feb. 12. The Steelers, however, have limited salary cap space to splurge on the open market. They could target a center in the upcoming draft, but the versatile Hassenauer gives them options at the position.

Hassenauer filled in at center late in the season when Pouncey was placed on the COVID-19 restricted list, and in Week 17 when Pouncey was given the week off. Hassenauer also made one start at left guard.


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