Tight end Vance McDonald announced his retirement from professional football on Friday.
The 30-year-old McDonald played eight years in the NFL, suiting up with the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
McDonald released a statement via Steelers’ official website, writing that he and his family “are so grateful for everything NFL football has provided us.”
“It’s always been our dream and mission to leverage the platform given us through the NFL to help serve and uplift others along the way, and we will continue to find ways to serve others as we begin this next chapter of our lives. I am proud to retire a Steeler,” he added.
Vance McDonald was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by San Francisco. He spent four years with the 49ers organization, making 30 starts before being traded to Pittsburgh.
Steelers initially brought in McDonald as a backup tight end, but the University of Rice product quickly emerged as an important player for the team. While he wasn’t too productive in the passing game, he earned respect for his blocking abilities.
McDonald’s best season as a pro came in 2018 when he had 50 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns. This included a monster 75-yard score in Week 3 against Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With McDonald being out, the Steelers are now short on the position and only have Eric Ebron and Zach Gentry as their TEs ahead of 2021. They will most likely address the issue through draft and free agency.