Steelers 2015 Unsigned Free Agents: Tight Ends


The Steelers will start the 2015 league year with only one tight end on their active roster; Heath Miller. Last year, they drafted Rob Blanchflower in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but he never made it to the active roster. He remains on their reserved/futures roster.

Matt Spaeth and Michael Palmer will both be unrestricted free agents come March 10th. Matt Spaeth was drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Minnesota. He played four seasons for the Steelers before eventually signing with the Chicago Bears in free agency in 2011. He returned to Pittsburgh in 2013, but was lost for that season to injury.

Michael Palmer was awarded to the Steelers off of waivers in the 2013 season when they were hurting for tight ends. He’s been mostly a special teams contributor and did so well in blocking during the 2013 season that the team had to turn to Mike Adams to use at tight end to make any kind of impact. Palmer went undrafted to the Atlanta Falcons in 2010 out of Clemson.

The Steelers’ tight end corps has long been comprised of Heath Miller and some other guys who can basically be interchangeable. Spaeth provided adequate blocking in 2014 to earn some of the credit for the team rushing for over 1,700 yards but at 31 and with Miller not getting any younger, the Steelers have already admitted to the tight end position being a position of need in this year’s draft.

If either of these tight ends return to the Steelers I would more likely see it being Spaeth over Palmer, simply because Spaeth brings known qualities to the roster whereas Palmer can easily be replaceable in the draft.

Tight ends like Heath Miller don’t exactly grow on trees and the other type of tight end in the NFL, the Rob Gronkowski’s and Jimmy Graham’s really don’t grow on trees. The top rated tight end in free agency would be Denver’s Julius Thomas, who is looking for a payday the Steelers certainly wouldn’t pay.

The Steelers could get aggressive in free agency, if so inclined and if they can create the cap space, and pick up Jordan Cameron, who, like any right-minded person wants to get the hell out of Cleveland in the worst way.

However, the likeliest scenario would be the Steelers using a draft pick for a tight end and then plugging in either Palmer or Spaeth to round the group out along with Miller.

What do you think the Steelers do in free agency at the tight end position?

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