Fullback Dan Vitale is ending his playing career. In a post to his LinkedIn page (via NESN’s Doug Kyed on Twitter), Vitale said, “I feel like my body is just ready to move on. I’m looking for a new role and would appreciate your support.”
Vitale, 27, entered the league as a sixth-round pick of the Buccaneers in 2016. He did not survive final cutdowns following his first career training camp, but he ended up back on Tampa’s taxi squad. The Browns poached him off the p-squad in October 2016, and over the 2016-17 campaigns, Vitale would appear in 24 games (nine starts) for Cleveland.
The Northwestern product caught on with the Packers’ practice squad in October 2018. He spent two seasons in Green Bay, playing in 20 games (five starts) for the Pack. His 2019 season with the club saw him post career highs in offensive snaps (170), catches (seven), and receiving yards (97). He also registered the only carry of his career, a three-yard tote.
Obviously, he was known more for his blocking and special teams acumen, and he signed a one-year deal with the Patriots in March 2020. The Pats knew that longtime stalwart James Develin was about to retire, and given the club’s usage of fullbacks and Develin’s impending departure, it seemed Vitale had found a good landing spot.
But he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and the Patriots cut him last month. Instead of trying to play for another NFL club, he will now turn his attention to other endeavors.
In his LinkedIn post, Vitale noted that he graduated from Northwestern with an economics degree, and that he minored in business institutions and integrated marketing communications.
We at PFR wish Vitale the best in the next stage of his life.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.