The Steelers are bringing back one of their top tight ends. Zach Gentry is re-signing with Pittsburgh, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). Gentry is signing a one-year deal, per Ray Fittipaldo and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The 2019 fifth-round pick has spent his entire career with the Steelers. He was limited to only six games through his first two seasons in the NFL thanks in part to a knee injury, but he hasn’t missed a game for Pittsburgh over the past two years.
Gentry has started 26 of his 34 appearances over the past two seasons, hauling in 38 receptions for 299 yards. More than half of his 577 offensive snaps during the 2022 campaign came on running plays, and while Pro Football Focus has never been particularly fond of his blocking ability, he’s likely earned his latest contract thanks to that role. Gentry got into a career-high 139 special teams snaps during the 2021 season, but he was limited to only 72 ST snaps in 2022.
Pat Freiermuth will continue to soak up the majority of the tight end targets on offense, with Gentry likely sliding in as the TE2/extra blocker. The Steelers are also rostering 2022 sixth-round pick Connor Heyward and 2022 UDFA Rodney Williams, so there could be some competition at the bottom of the depth chart.
12 comments on “Steelers Re-Sign TE Zach Gentry”
Good re-signing. Khan has had a great off season so far and I don’t think any of the moves he’s made are questionable. Getting Gentry back is a no brainer
I’d expect some news about Dupree signing soon, as well
I’m looking forward to what Khan and Weidl do with the draft next month
You know, while PFF hasn’t liked Gentry as a blocker, I’m not seeing any way that this contract is not tied to that. Gentry is used sparingly in the passing game, which is unfortunate in my mind. I’d like to see him more there, particularly in the red zone. The guy is 6’7” at the tight end spot; having him as a big target there should be an attractive prospect for any offense. Because he hasn’t been extensively used there, I don’t know personally if he has issues as a receiver that limit his utility in that spot.
I think his issues as a receiver are also what limits his abilities as a blocker, the guy lacks speed and athletic burst. Most of his catches happen when the D either straight up forgets about the fact he’s allowed by rule to run routes or when they bail on him to double someone else, he certainly doesn’t beat his defender when running routes. When blocking he gets beat by quick twitch OLB types. All that said I like the signing as he is an effective run blocker most of the time, knows the system and is cheap.
Oh I agree. I do think that it’s disappointing that Gentry is not able to make more of an impact on quick, short red zone routes. Those don’t take too much in terms of speed. It’s unfortunate given his size that he doesn’t see more usage there, but I don’t know if it’s his lack of athleticism that really keeps him from contributing.
no chance of them taking Mayer now..
oh well, Gentrys good at what he does.
looking like JPJ will be the pick at 17
I’m hoping either Witherspoon from Illinois or Gonzalez from Oregon are still available at 17 but I’m expecting Joey Jr to be the pick. I’ve fully convinced myself that the only way they don’t take a corner in the first is if all three of those guys are off the board. So I’m expecting a round 1 CB and the best OT available with pick 32. I’m wrong about dozens of things on a daily basis though and expect this prediction to fall into that category.
Agree about Gonzalez but size alone makes me want to take a flyer on Witherspoon. I dunno. The Steelers have had so many small guys back there that maybe it’s just my perception
You’re probably right about JPJ but with Sims gone, I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see them draft Kenny’s buddy, Addison
Alright, here’s my final draft thoughts..
They’ve done so well adding depth through free agency this offseason that they aren’t as reliant on taking a ILB or guard at 49 or r3 or r4.
roughly the draft could look like this
49: S /WR
r3: DT/S /WR
at OT it’ll be between undersized Pete and clunky Wright… either one is technically a good pick, but not overwhelming. Paris and Broderick almost certainly gone. makes things interesting if they’re not.
at CB it seems like CB3 might fall and any of the top 3 have upside. JPJ may be seen as a risk as he relied on physically more than pure skill. could fall just enough to follow in Mel Blounts footprints on his father’s forner team.
at WR it seems devalued a bit after last drafts all-out chaos on wodeouts. However many teams in the 20’s will be looking at wideout depth.
QJ seems the only true lock to go early round based on size, position and speed.
I think he finds his way to Houston at 12 or they trade back to take him in some capacity.. (also a route for steelers to potentially trade up for Paris or Broderick at 12)
Ideally, for this next scenario tho, QJ slips a little.
Mainly it will make it easier for steelers to figure out where Addison will go.
As much as Baltimore would love to sleight pittsburgh and grab Addison at 22 , they will not pass on QJ for him, infact as much as they’d really love to , I think they much prefer to add an outside target like JSN even with QJ gone.
After 22, assuming Ravens go WR , that is the time to start making calls to trade up from 32 and net Addison as well.
23 & 24 Minnesota, Jaxsonville , while being WR needy as well, are teams who have other needs and would trade back to save some money and add depth.
NYG, DAL, BUFF 25-27 are all red hot landing places for Addison.
29-31 NO,KC,PHI are wildcards who could add slot WR Addison as a luxury.
Obviously best-case scenario is JA slipping to 32 .. but I’ve just described the scenario on draft day, which will be quite a storm to weather to get to pick 32 clean.
24: JA (32 + 80 + future r4 to JAX)
49: Safety, maybe Jordan Battle Alabama idk
r4: DT run support
r7: C backup
r7: OLB development
Among tight ends I’d like Kincaid from Utah. Getting a #2 blocking type tight end to pair with him wouldn’t be hard and plausibly not even necessary if Connor Heyward and Derek Watt both remain on the roster but getting basically a wideout to play tight end on a rookie deal for a few years while Pickett finds his groove could be invaluable.
the article is literally about them signing Gentry
Jefrey Star is coming to Pittsburgh
I agree with jimmyz 1st post. GM Khan has been doing a great job! But not TE Gentry?? Why yup he’s cheap. So is his play. XFL wouldn’t hire him at $60k. TE Connor Heyward out played him hands down.
Do what you did to the LB position to every position. Trade WR Johnson for WR Hopkins. Make it happen! PS4L!