Heath Miller retiring after 11 NFL seasons

After 11 seasons, two Super Bowl wins, two Pro Bowls and 592 career catches, Steelers tight end Heath Miller has retired.

The Steelers made an official announcement on Friday afternoon.

Miller likely walks off the field and into consideration for the Steelers' secret cadre of unofficially retired numbers, a list that is currently populated by No. 12 (Terry Bradshaw), No. 32 (Franco Harris), No. 36 (Jerome Bettis), No. 52 (Mike Webster), No. 58 (Jack Lambert), No. 63 (Dermontti Dawson) and No. 75 (Joe Greene). Ernie Stautner's No. 70 is officially retired. Miller walks away as the franchise's leader in receptions, receiving yards (6,569) and touchdowns (45) by a tight end. His reception total is second best of any player in Steelers franchise history and fourth in touchdowns.

There are only 12 tight ends in league history with more than 6,000 receiving yards, and Miller is one of them.

A picture of dependability, Miller only missed eight regular season games in 11 years. The former first-round pick out of Virginia started 167 of his 168 career games and never missed a postseason start. His legacy as one of Ben Roethlisberger's favorite targets is all but secured.

The news likely will send Pittsburgh hunting for a replacement in free agency or via the draft. The team picked Jesse James out of Penn State in the fifth round last year and James finished his rookie campaign with eight catches. Matt Spaeth, 32, is still under contract through the 2016 season.

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