NFL

Steelers release tight end Matt Spaeth

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers released tight end Matt Spaeth on Thursday after the veteran tight end failed a physical.

The 32-year-old is recovering from offseason knee surgery and did not recover in time to be ready for training camp, which opens next week. Spaeth spent seven of his nine seasons in the NFL with the Steelers, who selected him in the third round of the 2007 draft.

Utilized mostly as a blocking tight end and backup to Heath Miller, Spaeth has 55 receptions for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career and helped the Steelers to the 2009 Super Bowl.

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The Steelers have plenty of options at tight end even with Miller's retirement and Spaeth's departure. Pittsburgh signed Ladarius Green as a free agent in March and second-year tight end Jesse James improved steadily during his rookie season.

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