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Steelers release TE Zach Gentry

The fan-favorite blocking tight end wasn’t able to secure a spot on the Steelers’ final roster.

Zach Gentry #81 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 24, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

In a surprising move, the Steelers released veteran tight end Zach Gentry today, per CBS’ Josina Anderson.

Gentry had a quiet camp but was still expected by many to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster. However, with rookie Darnell Washington overtaking Gentry on the depth chart, it’s clear that the Steelers didn’t see a need to keep the veteran blocking TE on their roster.

It remains unclear if the Steelers plan to just keep three tight ends on their final roster, or if camp standout Rodney Williams will manage to stick around as the team’s TE4 behind Pat Freiermuth, Washington, and Connor Heyward.

Gentry’s release could also open up a roster spot for a bubble player like WR Gunner Olszewski, or even help the Steelers keep an extra defensive lineman on the 53-man roster.

Although the release makes sense from a roster-building standpoint, Steeler fans will miss the fan-favorite TE and Grillin’ and Chillin’ co-host. However, with NFL rules permitting six veteran players to land on a team’s practice squad, there’s a chance that Gentry sticks around the Steelers organization.