The Green Bay Packers Monday re-signed exclusive rights free agent Ben Steele. Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the signing.
Steele returns for his second season in Green Bay, where he served as a backup tight end after being promoted from the practice squad early in the 2004 season. Initially the No. 3 tight end behind Bubba Franks and David Martin, he became the primary backup in late November when a knee problem sidelined Martin and ultimately ended his season. In 15 games last season, he contributed four receptions for 42 yards and 17 special teams tackles.
The 6-5, 250-pound tight end out of Mesa State signed to the Packers' practice squad in September after spending the 2003 and '04 training camps with the Minnesota Vikings.
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.