Statement from McDonald

Statement Vance McDonald:

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. 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 will admit that, at first, I was bitter about being traded as we entered many unknowns. My family and I quickly discovered how amazing Pittsburgh is. We fell in love with this city and the people in it. We fell in love with serving this community and the idea of wanting to make a difference here, so much so that we purchased a farm east of the city to not only call home, but to launch our non-profit ministry Hidden Meadow Farm & Retreat. Reflecting on this long journey in a moment of great pause, I know now that God was leading us every step of the way.

It is my prayer that my play on the field and outreach efforts reflected Jesus and helped bring joy and helped uplift those who watched and cheered me on. It's also my prayer that my family will continue to be role models of the NFL and the Pittsburgh community as we launch our ministry.

Thank you so much to the Steelers for trading for me and giving me four amazing years. Thank you to Ben, my brother, for all the memories and to all my teammates that I call friends. Thank you to Coach Tomlin for the leader and man you are. Thank you to the Rooney's for being an outstanding family. Thank you to JD and the coaching staff for the opportunity. Big thanks to the community and public relations teams, training room, weight room, equipment room, and cafeteria staff for your daily grind of support. And thank you, Steelers Nation for welcoming us into the family. I've thoroughly enjoyed running over everyone over the years. We will always bleed black and yellow. And thank you to San Francisco for igniting the dream. I'm thankful for my eight years in the NFL and proud to retire a Steeler.

Take a look at the best photos of tight end Vance McDonald through the years

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