PITTSBURGH -- Matt Spaeth is coming back to Pittsburgh.
The Steelers signed the free-agent tight end on Monday, reuniting Spaeth with the club that selected him in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft. Spaeth, 29, spent his first four seasons with the Steelers before moving on to Chicago, where he caught just 13 passes for 78 yards and three touchdowns in 31 games.
Pittsburgh needs depth at tight end while two-time Pro Bowl tight end Heath Miller recovers from a devastating knee injury sustained in December against Cincinnati. Spaeth excels as a run-blocker, and the Steelers are hoping he can help a young offensive line.
Spaeth had a career-high 17 receptions in 2008 while helping the Steelers to their sixth Super Bowl title.
The 6-foot-7 tight end signed with the Bears as a free agent in 2011 and played well in his two years in Chicago. But the Bears cut ties with Spaeth earlier in the week instead of paying him a $500,000 roster bonus. However, it's believed the Bears were open to the idea of Spaeth coming back, albeit at a reduced price.
Spaeth caught six balls for 28 yards and one touchdown last season.
Information from ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson and The Associated Press was used in this report.