THURSDAY, 2:03pm: The Steelers officially announced the signing.
WEDNESDAY, 8:30pm: Green is in line for a $20MM deal across four years, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). When he signs, Green will receive a signing bonus of $4.75MM. As presently structured, Green’s contract will pay out base salaries $1.25MM, $5MM, $4.5MM and $4.5MM, respectively, the next four seasons.
11:47am: Tight end Ladarius Green is expected to sign with the Steelers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Green is set to visit Pittsburgh on Thursday, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com (on Twitter).
The Chargers have re-signed Antonio Gates, but they apparently will not retain their other primary tight end. Green is viewed as the superior run-blocker to the 35-year-old Gates (36 in June), but Gates proved last season that he is still an effective pass catcher. Gates, an eight-time Pro Bowler, racked up 56 receptions for 630 yards and five touchdowns in just 11 games last season. Green, meanwhile, caught 37 passes for 429 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games (11 starts).
Green has long been viewed as a potential star in the game thanks to the athleticism he provides coupled with his 6-foot-6, 237-pound frame. Many expected 2015 to be the year that Gates would cede the torch to Green, particularly given Gates’ suspension to start the season, but that was simply not the case. Now, if he signs with Pittsburgh, Green could very well break out as one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the game.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was always been fond of feeding tight end Heath Miller and he’ll need a new target underneath now that the 33-year-old has retired. Green could also see additional looks with so much attention devoted to Antonio Brown by opposing defenses.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.