Steelers fifth biggest loser: Zach Gentry
It hasn’t been a great offseason for the veteran tight end. It took him a while to circle back to the Steelers, and his contract is pretty cheap considering the tight-end market. They followed that up by drafting a falling Darnell Washington in the third round of the draft.
Considering Washington has considerable upside as a receiver and is arguably the better blocker, it has left many wondering just what Gentry’s role will be in 2023. While I have established myself as a part of the Zach Gentry fan club, his role on the team is murky at best. At this point, his roster odds have to be seen as questionable.
Connor Heyward looks like he is going to be used all over the field, and that includes being a tight end even if he lacks the size for it. Washington should take the mantle as the top backup and blocking expert, and that leaves Gentry as a distant fourth option in a position where they may only keep three players.
Had Gentry shown up to camp and dominated like he did a few offseasons ago, there wouldn’t be an issue right now. The Steelers would be locked into keeping four tight ends and utilizing multiple tight end sets. It was a very average camp for Gentry though, and I wouldn’t write his roster spot in pen quite yet.
Assuming he isn’t cut, he is almost a lock to be a weekly inactive unless there is an injury. Let’s be clear, Gentry wasn’t going to be more than an average backup, but he seems to have even lost that role without much of a fight. It was a poor summer for Gentry, and he finds himself squarely on the roster bubble because of all of this.