Connect with us

Steelers Transactions

Steelers to Release Veteran Tight End Zach Gentry



Pittsburgh Steelers Zach Gentry
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Zach Gentry at training camp, Aug. 4, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have informed veteran tight end Zach Gentry that they intend to release him, according to a report by Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.

As a vested veteran, Gentry does not have to clear waivers and is now free to sign with any team.

The Steelers’ fifth-round pick out of Michigan in 2019, Gentry had seen a steadily-increasing role in the Steelers offense over his four seasons in black and gold.

He played in just six games over his first two seasons, but started to come into his own in 2021, when he appeared in all 17 games for the Steelers. Gentry set career highs with 19 catches and 167 yards. The most memorable catch of Genry’s career was during the Steelers 2021 Wild Card defeat in which he caught Ben Roethlisberger’s last professional pass.

In 2022, he appeared in all 17 games for the Steelers. Gentry caught 19 passes on 23 targets and one drop. In total, Gentry converted those 19 catches for 132 yards while failing to score a touchdown. Most of Gentry’s receiving production came within the first half of the season as he hauled in 12 of his 19 catches before the team’s Week 10 bye week.

After the bye, the Steelers transition to a more ground-based attack, with Gentry providing most of the blocking of the tight end duo alongside Pat Freiermuth.

“I think that we had one of the more efficent running offenses in the National Football League in the second half of the year,” Gentry said this offseason. “To see the way that progessed throughout the year with the metrics of our team, it was something that we needed to happen. It was kind of what I think was ultimately sparked our offense to move the ball a lot better [in the second half.]”

The Steelers drafted Darnell Washington out of Georgia in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and Washington may be able to replace Gentry in terms of a blocking-first tight end.

Fifth tight end Rodney Williams II, who impressed as as more versatile tight end with better receiving capabilities, could be in line to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster instead of Gentry.

A free agent for the first time in his a career, Gentry signed a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Steelers this offseason. His release will incur a $152,500 dead salary cap hit.

The Steelers must cut down from their 90-player offseason roster to the NFL-mandated 53-man limit by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.