Former 49ers receiver Arnaz Battle is poised to sign a three-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to a league source. Battle had a physical with the team today. He also drew interest from the Seahawks and Vikings. Battle is familiar to Steelers special teams coach Al Everest, who had the same job in San Francisco for the last three years. He also has a reputation as a solid downfield blocker, something that is important in Pittsburgh. In fact, former 49ers coach Mike Nolan once drew a comparison between Battle and the Steelers' Hines Ward, who is one of the most ferocious blocking receivers in league history.
Battle, 30, originally was a sixth round draft pick out of Notre Dame in 2003. He was injured early in his career, but he stuck around because coaches liked his gritty style of play when he was on the field. Battle seemed to be at his best when the 49ers' offenses were their worst. He led the team with 600 receiving yards in 2007, a year in which the 49ers finished last in the league in offense. Battle suffered a foot injury in 2008. Last year he returned healthy, but was relegated to a special teams role, return man, after the team released Allen Rossum.
-- Matt Barrows