James is slated to be the clear-cut No. 1 option at tight end for the Steelers in 2017 after they released Ladarius Green (concussion) on Thursday, ESPN's Adam Caplan reports.

James is cemented atop the depth chart at tight end in Pittsburgh at this point, while the Steelers' front office was forced to let Green walk following a failed physical. Green only appeared in six games last season, so James became comfortable with the first-team offense during his sophomore campaign as he racked up 39 catches for 338 yards and three touchdowns on 60 targets. He'll be backed up by second-year TE Xavier Grimble, who now figures to be in line for an increase in volume after seeing just 21 balls thrown his way as a rookie.

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