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Steelers TE Vance McDonald announces his retirement

The Pittsburgh Steelers tight end is calling it a career after the 2020 season.

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a decision to make with tight end Vance McDonald heading into the 2021 season. McDonald had a club option with the Steelers, but McDonald made the decision easy on the organization by announcing his retirement from football Friday.

To go into the mind of McDonald and why he chose to retire from the league, when he clearly could continue playing, he released a statement explaining his decision.

This from Brooke Pryor of ESPN:

McDonald was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft, where he spent four seasons before getting a fresh start in Pittsburgh after he was traded before the start of the 2017 season.

During his four years with the Steelers, he played in 53 games, starting 47, and caught 117 passes for 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns.

He had his best season in 2018 when he caught 50 passes for 610 yards, a 12.2-yard average, and had four touchdown receptions. But the play which McDonald will always be remembered happened on Monday Night Football in Tampa Bay with what fans now call the “Stiff arm heard round the world”.

McDonald now turns his attention away from football, and to his family as he begins his life after football. In the meantime, McDonald is still the Steelers’ representative for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, an award which is given to the NFL’s best man off the field.

When it comes to how McDonald’s retirement will affect the Steelers’ 2021 salary cap, he was set to count $7,927,500 toward the cap this season according to With $2,727,500 in dead money, McDonald’s retirement will save the Steelers $5.2 million.

On behalf of BTSC, and all Steeler Nation, we with McDonald all the best in his future endeavors, and I’m sure he won’t be far from the Steelers organization in the future.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers as they prepare for the start of the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.