6th round pick, Kemoeatu signs
Steelers sign 6th-round pick
Thursday, May 19, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Guard Chris Kemoeatu, drafted by the Steelers later than he thought he should have been, made sure he was at the head of the line yesterday when he became the team's first draft choice to sign a contract.
Kemoeatu, the Steelers' sixth-round draft choice from Utah, signed a three-year deal worth $981,750.
It includes a $61,750 signing bonus and annual salaries of $230,000, $305,000 and $385,000.
He became only the third NFL draft choice to sign this year following Jerome Carter of St. Louis and Junius Coston of Green Bay.
"He was the 13th guard taken," agent Ken Vierra said of Kemmoeatu. "But 10 of them aren't better than him and I'm not sure any are better. He was the most physical offensive lineman in the draft, a scout told me that."
Kemoeatu was listed as 6-31/2, 344 pounds during the draft but weighs 338 today and the Steelers want him down to 330, Vierra said. He will practice on both the right and left sides and has been with the team this week for their voluntary workouts that began Monday.
The Steelers, who have signed a few of their picks early in each of the past several years, continue to negotiate with their other seven draft choices, including top pick Heath Miller.