The Pittsburgh Steelers might have a replacement for retired tight end Heath Miller.
Chargers tight end Ladarius Green is scheduled to visit Pittsburgh, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Green is expected to sign with the team.
Former Chargers TE Ladarius Green is expected to sign with
the Pittsburgh Steelers, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2016
A fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft, Green caught a career-high 37 passes in 2015. His catches have increased from four in his rookie season to 17 in 2013 to 19 in 2014 to 37 last season.
With Antonio Gates signing a two-year contract, however, there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity for Green to expand his role in San Diego. In Pittsburgh, he could join forces with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant in an offense that was third in the NFL in yards per game last season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Green averaged six yards after the catch in 2015, among the top 15 at his position.
The Steelers traditionally don’t go after the big-ticket free agents and prefer to build through the draft, but Green is the type of free agent they typically sign. He’ll be going on his second contract with an opportunity for his career to take off in Pittsburgh. Ryan Clark, signed in 2006, followed a similar path and Mike Mitchell had a breakout year in 2015 after working in relative anonymity in Carolina.
With Green, an already powerful Steelers offense could suddenly get younger and faster at tight end.