PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The Pittsburgh Steelers released tight end Ladarius Green and long snapper Greg Warren on Thursday after both failed physicals.
While Warren’s departure became imminent after the Steelers made the unusual move of selecting long snapper Colin Holba from Louisville in last month’s draft, cutting Green came as a surprise.
Pittsburgh made a rare splurge in free agency when it signed Green to a four-year, $20 million deal in March 2016, pegging him the big red-zone threat the team needed at the position following Heath Miller’s retirement.
Green struggled to get healthy following offseason ankle surgery and spent the first half of last season on the physically unable to perform list. He ended up catching 18 passes for 308 yards and a touchdown before leaving a December victory over Cincinnati with a concussion. He did not dress the rest of the year as the Steelers reached the AFC championship game before falling to New England.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said before the draft that the team had no update on Green’s status, adding that it would not affect the organization’s plans. Pittsburgh did not select a tight end with any of its eight draft choices. The Steelers relied heavily on Jesse James and Xavier Grimble to fill in for Green last season, and both remain on the roster.
The 35-year-old Warren signed with the Steelers in 2005 as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in 181 regular-season and 15 postseason games with the team while helping the Steelers win two Super Bowls and appear in another.
“Greg has been a big part of our past success and we would like to thank him for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement.