The best deal available was with Pittsburgh, the team that drafted him in the sixth round in 2015. Chickillo spent the last two seasons in a reserve role, but he compiled 48 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 31 games. With T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree still in the lineup, Chickillo will likely work in the same role in 2018.
The Steelers now reserve the right to match any contract another team offers Chickillo. The 25-year-old linebacker posted 13 tackles and three sacks in the first three games in 2017, but he was demoted to a reserve role and accrued just six tackles and zero sacks in the remaining 13 games. Chickillo will likely face the same tough test in 2018, with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree seemingly locked in at outside linebacker.
Chickillo, who recorded one tackle (solo) in the regular-season finale win over the Browns, finished up the 2017 season with 19 tackles (13 solo), including three sacks in 16 games.
Chickillo, who is a restricted free agent, has 5.5 sacks over the past two seasons, playing in all but one game. At 26, he provides linebacker depth and is a contributor on special teams, where he played nearly 72 percent of all snaps. Chickillo earned $615,000 this past season, so if the price is right, he could return to Pittsburgh in 2018.
Chickillo totaled two tackles (both solo), including a sack in Sunday's 23-17 overtime loss to the Bears.
Chickillo now has three sacks on the season to lead the Pittsburgh defense. He'll look to add to his total in Week 4 in Baltimore, where is recorded six tackles and a half sack in their 21-14 loss last season.
Chickillo had six tackles (four solo) including two sacks, and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown in Pittsburgh's 21-18 win over Cleveland on Sunday.
Tyler Matakevich came up the middle to block Britton Colquitt's punt, and Chickillo, starting for the injured Bud Dupree (shoulder), grabbed it in the end zone for the early 7-0 lead. It was the first time the Steelers blocked a punt for a touchdown since 1998 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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