The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced the release of veteran tight end Matt Spaeth. The team announced the news early Thursday afternoon.
The team cited a failed physical as the result of Spaeth’s termination from the team. According to a statement from the team, Spaeth, who was drafted by the team in the 2007 NFL Draft in the third round, never fully recovered from his knee surgery in the offseason.
“Matt never fully recovered from knee surgery that occurred this past offseason, and he will not be ready to return to football activities at this time,” said General Manager Kevin Colbert in a team-issued release. “Matt played an integral role in our Super Bowl XLIII Championship run, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Spaeth first joined the Steelers when he was drafted with the 77th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Spaeth was the backup for former Steelers tight end Heath Miller, who announced his retirement early in the NFL offseason.
Spaeth recorded 123 regular-season game appearances for the Steelers in his career. His numbers include 55 receptions for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns. Spaeth, just like Miller, had a tall frame and was known for his blocking for the running backs and receivers.
The Steelers announced that Mandel Dixon, an undrafted rookie from Tulsa, will take Spaeth’s place on the roster. Also on the roster at the tight end position are Jesse James, Ladarius Green, David Johnson, Xavier Grimble and Paul Lang.
All Steelers players will report to training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe on July 28 with open public practices beginning on July 29.