Backup tight end re-signs

Tight end Ben Steele, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with the Green Bay Packers today. Terms of Steele's contract were not disclosed by the team, but he likely received a one-year deal for the second-year player's minimum of $305,000.<p>

Steele is returning for his second season in Green Bay. He was signed to the team's practice squad early last year, then promoted to the 53-man roster. He moved to the top backup behind Bubba Franks when David Martin suffered a season-ending knee injury in late November.

Steele had four catches for 42 yards in 15 games last season. He also had 17 special teams tackles and recovered a fumble by teammate Robert Ferguson during a kickoff return against the Vikings last November. Steele's recovery led to a game-winning field goal by Ryan Longwell in a 34-31 victory by the Packers on Nov. 14 at Lambeau Field.

Steele entered the NFL as a non-drafted free agent in 2001 and signed by the 49ers. San Francisco waived him at the end of his rookie training camp, later re-signed him to its practice squad and offseason roster, then allocated him in 2002 to the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe, where he caught 11 passes for 110 yards and one TD. After a 2003 offseason stint with the Seattle Seahawks, he first joined the Vikings as a free agent just before '03 camp.

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