When it comes to the tight end position, few teams have been as active in adding talent as the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In August 2017, they acquired Vance McDonald by way of a trade from the San Francisco 49ers. In the 2019 NFL Draft, they selected University of Michigan tight end Zach Gentry in the fifth round. This past March, they signed Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron to a two-year contract, giving them a well-needed athleticism to the position.
For third-year tight end Kevin Rader, one would have assumed, all these signings and acquisitions would have left him on the outside looking in. As it stands, Rader still remains a member of their tight end group.
After going undrafted in 2018, Rader would sign as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers, only to be released after the preseason. In January 2019, the Steelers would sign him to a Reserve/Future contract, adding depth to their roster which would later lose veteran Jesse James.
In the preseason that year, Rader would appear against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. In both games, he contributed a total of 30 yards on just three receptions. Even with minimal playing time, Rader managed to make the Steelers practice squad, where he would be removed twice during the 2019 season, eventually being
re-added again in November 2019.
Even with the new additions, Rader has an opportunity to earn a backup position. With Gentry progressing with each passing day, Rader will have a steep hill to climb. The fact that has remained on the roster throughout all the changes made, could be an indication that the Steelers are still very much intrigued by what he bring to the table.