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Pittsburgh Steelers sign NT Alameda Ta'amu

Alameda Ta'amu has become the first of the Pittsburgh Steelers' NFL draft picks to sign a contract, the team announced Sunday.

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Ta'amu, drafted in the fourth round, signed a four-year contract. Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team. A nose tackle out of the University of Washington, Ta'amu had 3.5 sacks and 30 tackles in 2011.

Ta'amu could see plenty of action during his rookie season as veteran defensive lineman Casey Hampton is working to come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered during the Steelers' playoff loss to the Denver Broncos. Hampton, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, had surgery in January.

A few days after the NFL draft, Ta'amu got a phone call from Steelers leader and fellow Polynesian -- Troy Polamalu.

"At first, I didn't even know it was him," Ta'Amu told The Beaver County Times. "When I answered the phone, I didn't know whose number it was. I was kind of awestruck when I figured out it was Troy Polamalu. It's nice to have another 'Poly' looking out for you. We are brothers."

Both players are of Samoan descent.

"He said that if there's anything I need, to hit him up ... just having him out there and him calling me makes me feel better."

Later Sunday, the team announced they signed their fifth-round draft pick -- No. 159 overall -- running back Chris Rainey. Financial terms of the four-year deal were not disclosed.

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