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Old 03-07-2014, 05:02 AM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

By Alan Robinson

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7:36 p.m.
Updated 7 hours ago

Larry Foote might not be the only veteran starter the Steelers lose from their defense. Brett Keisel might be leaving, too.

Keisel, an eight-year starter on a defense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL during that period, hasn't been contacted by the Steelers about returning next season and is preparing to play elsewhere, according to his agent.

Unlike Foote, who was released Wednesday with one season remaining on his contract, Keisel is an unrestricted free agent who is free to sign with any team.

While he will be 36 in September, Keisel is coming off an effective season in which he graded out 13th among all NFL 3-4 defensive ends in Pro Football Focus' pass rush evaluations.

“He's productive, healthy and has every intention to continue to play football,” said Eric Metz, Keisel's agent, Thursday.

Keisel missed four games late last season with a painful plantar fasciitis condition in his left foot that was worsened by a tear, but he returned to have two sacks in the final two games plus a critical fumble recovery against the Packers.

Keisel finished his 12th NFL season — he missed one season with an injury — with four sacks, giving him 81⁄2 in the last two seasons, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 29 tackles. He is 13th in team history with 29 sacks.

Keisel made $2,825,000 in base salary last season, with a salary cap charge of $4.9 million, but the Steelers — if they have any interest in him returning — probably don't want to pay much more than the minimum of $955,000 plus a small signing bonus.

The Steelers' lack of interest in Keisel to date might not necessarily be a sign they have decided to move on. They could be waiting to see if Keisel, a defensive captain and one of the most-respected players in their locker room, attracts interest elsewhere.

“Hopefully, he can finish his career a Steeler as he's always desired,” Metz said.

The Steelers' two starting defensive ends at the beginning of last season, Keisel and Ziggy Hood, are free agents.

Still, the Steelers' approach to free agency appears to be as patient as ever. They want to bring back wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who caught 10 touchdown passes last season, but they have yet to discuss a contract with his agent, Jack Scharf.

The Steelers' new $20 million, three-year contract with safety Troy Polamalu includes a signing bonus ($6.75 million) and a 2014 base salary ($1.5 million) that equals the $8.25 million he was due to make in the final season of his former contract. There is no money guaranteed beyond this season.

Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2vGmqwmq3
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

Another guy I'd like to see return to the fold, but it has to be at the right price. We can't afford to pay big money to a 36 year old DE in the twilight of his career right now. He's a guy I feel we can move on from if necessary, but I'd still like to see him take a hometown discount and stick around for some leadership. Hopefully he'll take a page out of Troy and Heath's book and remain for another season at least for some depth on the d-line.

Besides, I only bought his bumblebee jersey about a year and a half ago.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

Love the Deisel, respect the Deisel, and give many thanks to the Deisel, but it is time to get younger, quicker, and faster on the DL.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoLambert View Post
Love the Deisel, respect the Deisel, and give many thanks to the Deisel, but it is time to get younger, quicker, and faster on the DL.
I agree, but if he were willing to come back at a much reduced rate for another year, I wouldn't mind keeping him around for depth and to help out grooming his replacement. Keisel showed he still had a little life in him last year. Why not for the right price? We aren't exactly brimming with DE talent right now.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoLambert View Post
Love the Deisel, respect the Deisel, and give many thanks to the Deisel, but it is time to get younger, quicker, and faster on the DL.
That would be great if that includes "better" and we have such a player. otherwise, call the Deisel.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

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Besides, I only bought his bumblebee jersey about a year and a half ago.
Why in God's name would you buy a bumblee jersey?
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:12 AM   #7
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddha Bus View Post
I agree, but if he were willing to come back at a much reduced rate for another year, I wouldn't mind keeping him around for depth and to help out grooming his replacement. Keisel showed he still had a little life in him last year. Why not for the right price? We aren't exactly brimming with DE talent right now.
Exactly. If he takes a team friendly deal like his buddies Troy and Heath, then the young DL certainly would benefit from his leadership.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

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Originally Posted by Lambert4President View Post
Why in God's name would you buy a bumblee jersey?
I like them.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

I say one more year for Kiesel, if not for the leadership alone, Heyward is on the rise but one more year of mentorship could only be a positive thing. I say c-ya to Ziggy Hood, bring back Kiesel and let him go out on his terms!
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Keisel might be at end of Steelers career

Heyward doesn't need Keisel for his leadership anymore. He doesn't need him to be a mentor, or show him the ropes any longer. Heyward was the best defensive player on our team last year, and when you take that title, you don't need to be mentored any longer.

Keisel was a stalwart on this line for the better part of a decade. It's time to pass that torch, Brett.
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