As per several news outlets, the Steelers on Thursday released veteran tight end Matt Spaeth after he failed a physical.
We have released TE Matt Spaeth, and signed rookie free agent TE Mandel Dixon.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 21, 2016
- Spaeth, who had offseason knee surgery, evidently didn’t recover in time for the Steelers’ satisfaction.
Here is a quote from team general manager Kevin Colbert, courtesy of NFL.com:
Matt never fully recovered from knee surgery this past offseason, and he will not be ready to return to football activities at this time,” said Colbert. “Matt played an integral role in our Super Bowl XLIII Championship run, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Spaeth was part of Mike Tomlin’s first draft class in 2007 and came to the Steelers as a third round pick out of Minnesota. He was Heath Miller’s backup and the team’s number two tight end for four years, catching 36 passes for 275 yards and five touchdowns.
After his rookie deal expired following the 2010 Super Bowl XLV season, Spaeth signed a deal with the Bears who, according to Spaeth’s Wikipedia Page, then traded future Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen to the Panthers.
After two seasons in Chicago, Spaeth was released and subsequently re-signed with the Steelers prior to the 2013 regular season as insurance for Miller, who suffered a devastating knee injury in Week 16 of the 2012 season.
However, Spaeth was injured himself, at the beginning of the year and never made much of an impact outside of blocking during his last three campaigns in Pittsburgh.
For the 6’7″, 270 Spaeth, 32, it remains to be seen if he’s going to continue to play football, or if he’ll decide to call it a career.
To take Spaeth’s place on the roster, the Steelers signed free agent tight end Mandel Dixon.