Steelers parting ways with Wilcox

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran safety J.J. Wilcox on Monday just days after selecting a pair of safeties in the NFL draft.

Wilcox played in 12 games for the Steelers in 2017 after Pittsburgh got him from Tampa Bay last September for late-round picks in both the 2018 and 2019 drafts. Wilcox had one interception with Pittsburgh while playing primarily as a reserve.

The Steelers have overhauled their defensive backfield in the offseason. Wilcox is the third safety to be released by Pittsburgh in the past two months, joining Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden.

The Steelers drafted two safeties over the weekend, taking Terrell Edmunds out of Virginia Tech in the first round and Penn State’s Marcus Allen in the fifth.

Millen has heart trouble

ALLENTOWN, — Former NFL player and general manager Matt Millen says he is being treated for a rare disease that has robbed his heart of most of its normal function.

The 60-year-old Millen told the Morning Call in Allentown that he has been diagnosed with amyloidosis, a life-threatening illness that may force him to seek a heart transplant. Millen said he has been receiving chemotherapy once a week to treat the condition that left his heart functioning at just 30 percent.

Millen played 12 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL for the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins — and won four Super Bowl rings.

He later served as Detroit’s general manager and has also spent three decades as a broadcaster. Millen told the Morning Call he plans to return to the booth in the fall.

Millen’s heart issues began in 2011, when he first felt chest pain while exercising. Heart tests, including a cardiac catheterization, showed nothing.

Amyloidosis often goes undiagnosed because its symptoms mimic those of more common diseases. But Millen’s symptoms grew worse over time, and he visited doctors for six years before finally getting diagnosed with the rare disease last July.

“When a bump comes up in the road, you deal with it,” Millen said. “It’s ridiculous to feel sorry for yourself. I’m thankful for what I have, and I’ll take what I get.”

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