Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller has decided to retire from the NFL, the team announced on Friday.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 19, 2016
Miller, who was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Virginia, recorded 592 regular season receptions for 6,569 yards and 45 touchdowns during his 11 seasons in the league. He started 167-of-168 games played in during the regular season as well and won two Super Bowl championships during his time in Pittsburgh. He was also a two-time Pro Bowler.
Miller was the consummate professional during his career and was a longtime fan favorite.
The news of Miller’s retirement is a bit shocking being as he still had one year left on his contract. He was scheduled to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2016 and count $7,181,668 against the team’s salary cap.
With Miller now retiring, the Steelers will save $4 million in salary cap space but in the process his absence will leave big shoes that will need to be filled by second-year tight end Jesse James, who was drafted last year in the fifth-round out of Penn State. Additionally, the team will have a dead money charge of $3,181,668 in 2016.
With Miller now out of the picture, the Steelers might decide to draft yet another tight end in the first three rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft.
We will have more on the great career of Miller in future posts and the team is expected to have quotes from team President Art Rooney II, general manager Kevin Colbert, and head coach Mike Tomlin on Miller’s career and retirement later on today.
Miller released a statement a short time ago.
Today, I informed the Steelers of my plans to retire. I realize how extremely fortunate and grateful I am to have spent my entire career as a Pittsburgh Steeler. I would like to thank the Rooney Family, Kevin Colbert, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin, James Daniel and the rest of the Steelers organization for giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream. I will always cherish and value the special bonds that I formed with my teammates. It was truly an honor for me to take the field with them. I am also appreciative of my entire family and all of the coaches who helped me along the way. Additionally, I want to thank Steelers Nation, the best fans in the NFL!
Lastly, I owe the biggest thank you to my wife, Katie, and our four children for their unwavering support.