Vance McDonald‘s injury has prompted the Steelers to act quickly. Pittsburgh has agreed to acquire tight end Nick Vannett from Seattle, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Steelers will send a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Seahawks for Vannett, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. That pick came from Jacksonville in this month’s Joshua Dobbs trade, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, so the Steelers effectively traded Dobbs for Vannett.
This marks the second straight week the Steelers have made a trade, this lower-profile move coming after Pittsburgh sent its 2020 first-round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
A former third-round pick out of Ohio State, Vannett is in a contract year. He caught 29 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns with Seattle in 2018, which was by far his most productive statistical year. Vannett, 26, has four catches for 38 yards this season. He will join a Steelers roster that houses McDonald, blocking tight end Xavier Grimble and rookie fifth-round pick Zach Gentry.
McDonald is battling a sprained shoulder, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He was spotted with the shoulder in a sling Tuesday, though RapSheet adds this is not expected to sideline Pittsburgh’s starter for long. But it’s clear the Steelers are serious about having an experienced tight end to pair with Grimble, and thus adding more help for Mason Rudolph, while McDonald is out.
Interestingly, this leaves the Seahawks with one tight end on their active roster, Will Dissly. While the second-year player has flashed in limited work, he missed 12 games as a rookie due to a severe knee injury. Seattle will certainly address this new roster need in the coming days.
The Steelers have now dealt their 2020 first-, third- and fifth-round picks, while the Seahawks have extra ’20 selections in the second and fifth rounds.
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