The @steelers have re-signed TE Michael Palmer to a one-year contract.— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) March 21, 2014
The Steelers added a fourth tight end behind Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth and David Paulson.
A one-year contract is far from a guaranteed thing, especially for a player who contributed almost entirely on special teams last season. This is an offense that used back-up tackle Mike Adams as a second tight end often the second half of the season.
Michael Palmer re-signed by @Steelers. 1-year, likely for the veteran minimum. U can cross TE off the list 4 this draft. QB, S, prob OL, too— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) March 21, 2014
While some suggest signing Palmer eliminates the team's desire to draft a tight end, it seems worthy of mention how ineffective Paulson was in spot duties last season. And again, the fact they used Adams as a tight end over Paulson is highly suggestive there is a lack of confidence in the young player.
Not to mention the team signing 27-year-old Mike Mitchell to a 5-year deal isn't even close to the same as Michael Palmer signing a 1-year deal. Unless the team plans to carry four tight ends into the season, either Palmer or Paulson will be released. Judging by their playing time and performance last year, and the complete lack of challenge they pose to either Miller or Spaeth (provided health is not an issue), it's certainly reasonable to think they may look at tight ends in this draft.