The Pittsburgh Steelers have a decision to make at tight end and whether or not they want to bring Jesse James back for another contract.
As Jesse James’ career went on, he became a reliable member of this Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense. But adding Vance McDonald has proven to kill the possibility of James becoming a regular start for this team, putting questions from both parties on the line when deciding about the future.
For James, he may want to compete for a starting job. He receives solid playing time for a backup tight end, but he’s been a strong enough piece that he likely could find himself somewhere working as their primary end.
For the Steelers, they have to consider whether or not they’re going to approach a tight end in the draft or if they’d like to keep James around for the future.
At this point, it appears James could be headed for the open market to at least see what he’s offered as a free agent. According to Tony Pauline, the Jaguars and Bills are two names interested in the tight end.
"“Presently, I’m told that the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills are two teams very interested in James once he hits the open market.”"
James entered the league as a big-bodied Penn State alum that Pittsburgh tagged as “Heath Junior.” A primarily a blocking tight end, James didn’t contribute in the passing game much during his first year with the Steelers, but as time developed he become a more involved in the passing game.
Today, he’s a dynamic player who can find himself doing both at the position. He may not have the experience as a starter, but when thrown in to the situation due to injuries, James has always played well.
James will likely join a team with a tight end already in place, but should have an opportunity to compete for more playing time. If he strongly believes he’s the right fit for a new organization, Pittsburgh could be looking for a backup to McDonald in the NFL Draft.