It’s now been a little more than one full year since the Pittsburgh Steelers signed tight end Ladarius Green to a four-year, $20 million contract. While Green’s first season with the Steelers certainly didn’t go as many hoped it would due to ankle problems and a concussion, the tight end expects to play in 2017.
“I expect to come back,” Green told ESPN of offseason workouts, according to Jeremy Fowler.
Ahead of the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert also indicated that he expects Green will be back next season but that he needs to pass physical before offseason workouts begin.
Green, who played in all of six games last season after being activated from the Steelers Reserve/PUP list, caught 18 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown in his very limited playing time. A late-season concussion, however, resulted in Green missing the Steelers final two regular season games and all three playoff contests. Green’s history of concussions is now very concerning moving forward.
Green is scheduled to earn a base salary of $5 million in 2017 and assuming he ultimately passes a physical is expected to take part in all off the Steelers OTA practices, something he was unable to do last year due to him rehabbing a surgically repaired ankle.
For now, Green’s future in Pittsburgh looks to be green, but that could change quickly if the Steelers select another tight end in this year’s draft and especially within the first four rounds.
The Steelers provided themselves a little insurance at the position just after the start of the league year when they re-signed free agent tight end David Johnson to a two-year contract. Johnson, however, his known for his blocking and not his pass-catching ability.