Vance McDonald doesn’t necessarily need to improve this season, but rather stay healthy. Missing a lot of last season with injuries, Pittsburgh is already weary on the future of the tight end. Jesse James isn’t a top tier starting tight end, but he continues to improve. Meaning the better he gets, the less time McDonald has to earn his place in the future of this team.
McDonald has a lot of promise in this offense. His speed makes him a perfect fit for middle of the field routes. Ben Roethlisberger would love to have him for a full season to use in his arsenal.
He needs to play most of the season, though. If he can’t, Pittsburgh won’t be willing to keep him around. He’s already breaking the budget with his over $4 million cap hit this season. He has to prove his worth, and 2018 will be his final chance to do so.