The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly waived TE Bucky Hodges, according to this tweet from ESPN’s Field Yates.
It’s unclear why the team is releasing him now. Perhaps he suffered an injury during Phase One of the offseason. It’s also possible the team is making room for the draft. On Monday, Kevin Colbert said their roster stood at 74 players (our count has it at 75 with the Hodges release), leaving only a few spots available for undrafted free agents after their current ten draft picks.. Normally, the Steelers bring about 10-12 per season.
Hodges was signed mid-way through training camp last year, replacing the injured Ryan Malleck. He was able to stick and spend all of last year on the practice squad before being inked to a futures deal when the year ended.
A 6th round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 draft, he’s spent time with the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets before coming to Pittsburgh. He’s yet to appear in an NFL game.
Tight end is one area the Steelers figure to address during the draft after losing Jesse James to Detroit. The only two tight ends with gameday experience are Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble. Behind them sit Kevin Rader and Christian Scotland-Williamson, the latter of whom will not count against the 90 man roster as part of the league’s International Player Program.