Vance McDonald announces retirement

Updated: Jan 24

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

After an eight-year career in the NFL and four years with the Steelers, Vance McDonald announced this morning that he's retiring.

McDonald, 30, said during a Zoom call with the media on Friday that he made the decision to retire last offseason so he could start to work on his foundation and didn't tell anyone of the decision until after the team's loss to the Browns in the wild-card game.

"My family and I are so grateful for everything NFL football has provided us in our life -- all the memories both good and the difficult, the relationships and friends we've made along the way, the life lessons the game provided both me and my loved ones," McDonald said via Teresa Varley of "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."

McDonald played in 101 games in his eight seasons and finished with 181 receptions for 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns. During his four years with the Steelers, he played in 53 games and caught 117 passes for 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns.

"I am appreciative of Vance's contributions during the last four years of his career that he spent in Pittsburgh," Mike Tomlin said. "He was a class act on and off the field, leading many of our efforts in the community while also being a voice for our social justice efforts and the community work during the pandemic. I wish he and his family nothing but the best in his retirement and his continued work to be a pillar in the community."

McDonald is also the Steelers' nominee for the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for the work he did with Convoy of Hope during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing trucks full of nonperishable food, PPE, and cleaning supplies for 1,000 families in Allegheny, Butler and Westmoreland County in the Western Pennslyvania region.

McDonald said Ben Roethlisberger was the first teammate he told about his decision to retire and it was an emotional moment for the close friends.

With McDonald retiring, it saves the Steelers $5.2 million in cap space and it gives them $2,727,500 in dead money, according to

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