Video: The Steelers Don't Have a Tight End Situation

Noah Strackbein

Why does the question of where to find the Steelers next tight end keep coming up? Everyone seems to have ruled out Vance McDonald and Nick Vannett and have moved on to free agency - or the draft. 

Yes, it does make sense to remove McDonald from the roster. As a cap casualty, he clears up roughly $7 million this season, which the Steelers could use to retain guys like... Nick Vannett. 

Bud Dupree is going to take up the biggest chunk of money, followed by a few pieces here and there that the Steelers need to retain. Then, and only then, will they consider what to do with the tight end position. 

Here's what they won't do, though: sign a free agent that's going to be equally as expensive as Vance McDonald. They won't cut someone they want on the roster for someone they know little about. 

McDonald racked up 610 yards and 4 touchdowns in his last season with Ben Roethlisberger. 2019 was a different story, but if the blame is being put on McDonald for the lack of success in the passing game, then James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster are on their way out as well.

So, unless this free agent market is filled with bargain tight ends at a Pro Bowl level, let's keep our focus on the draft or Nick Vannett to keep the tight end position strong in 2020. 

Oh, and probably Zach Gentry as well. 

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