The nearly one full season that tight end Nick Vannett spent with the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t be a memorable one. That goes for the team’s now former tight end as well. On Friday, Vannett, who signed a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos not long ago, met the media and he was asked to talk about his time spent with the Steelers last season after he was acquired via a Week 3 trade with the Seattle Seahawks. His response speaks for itself.
“When I got to the Steelers, talk about just a crazy three months there,” Vannett said Friday, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. “It seems like I came into an organization where the wheels were starting to fall off a little bit. Guys were getting hurt, Ben [Roethlisberger] was down. So, I feel like I never really got to experience the true benefits, the true atmosphere that the Steelers normally would have because I came in on a crazy situation. I don’t know. I can’t say I have too many great things to say about that organization just from my time being there because it wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had. So, I can’t really speak too much on them to be honest.”
For not speaking too much on the Steelers, Vannett sure said quite a bit. What’s funny is that just two months ago he was quoted as saying he hoped he would be part of the Steelers for years to come. Additionally, after the Steelers Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Vannett tweeted that that was the most fun he’s had playing football in he didn’t know how long. He added that he was “beyond ecstatic to be a part of this organization.”
In that game against the Bengals, Vannett registered two receptions for 28 yards. One of those two catches serve as his only real highlight of his time in Pittsburgh as his run blocking certainly never qualified.
Prior to taking about his 2019 season with the Steelers, Vannett talked about his time with the Seahawks and how he had fallen out of favor with them and how that ultimately resulted in him being traded for a fifth-round draft pick.
“I always felt like toward the end of my tenure with the Seahawks, I felt like I was slowly getting kicked to the curb a little bit,” Vannett said Friday. “They had another guy, a young guy, they brought in Will [Dissly], they were pretty high on and they kind of saw him to be my successor. I don’t know, like slowly I feel like they kind of minimized my role, they weren’t getting me involved as much. From what I heard, the Steelers were looking for a tight end and they had been trying to make an offer for quite some time, and I think they finally made an offer that the Seahawks couldn’t refuse.”
In hindsight, it’s too bad that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert made the Seahawks an offer they couldn’t refuse because the addition of Vannett for last season certainly wasn’t worth the fifth-round selection in this year’s draft that they gave up to get him. They would have been better served signing another former Seahawks tight end at the time, Luke Willson, off the street instead. In fact, after the Seahawks traded Vannett to the Steelers, they almost immediately re-signed Willson, who was with the Oakland Raiders during the preseason.
In total, Vannett had 13 receptions for 128 yards in the 13 games that he played in with the Steelers. He didn’t even manage to register a special teams tackle, either.
Vannett would have been best served to tell the media on Friday that things just didn’t go as planned last season with the Steelers and left it that. Based on the previous comments that he made during the season and immediately after it ended, he now looks like a player that talks out of both sides of his mouth.
Don’t worry, Nick, Steelers fans are glad you weren’t re-signed and that one big catch you had last season will quickly be forgotten like sands through an hourglass.
The only real consolation for the Steelers in all this is that Vannett’s signing with the Broncos might ultimately net a seventh-round compensatory draft pick a year from now. This assumes that Vannett is able to stick with the Broncos most of the 2020 season.
By the way, the Steelers are scheduled to play the Broncos during the 2020 season at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh so Vannett can expect a rude welcoming upon his return. I wonder how Vannett will like that Steelers atmosphere. Bye, Vannecia!