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Monday, March 09, 2015

Steelers get busy

The Steelers made a flurry of moves on Monday, the biggest of which was the release of veteran defensive lineman Brett Keisel.

While the move itself was not surprising, the timing was somewhat of a shock.

Keisel, 36, obviously wasn't in the team's long-term plans. But it was assumed the team would cut ties with Cam Thomas before it would release Keisel.

That didn't happen.

Keisel signed a two-year deal to return to the team last August but suffered an triceps injury that ended his season in November.

The prevailing thought was that the Steelers would see how well Keisel's rehab was going before releasing him or Thomas.

By releasing Keisel, the Steelers cleared $1.5 million in salary cap space.

@ The Steelers weren't among the teams that began speaking with agents about players over the weekend in the early negotiating period.

But that doesn't mean they weren't busy.

Monday, the team re-signed outside linebacker Arthur Moats to a three-year deal and then tight end Matt Spaeth to a two-year deal.

Neither signing is as sexy as some of the others happening around the league right now, but they are key moves for the Steelers.

Moats will be counted on, at the very least, to provide depth on both sides at outside linebacker.

Spaeth, meanwhile, is a key component of the team's run blocking scheme.

@ The Steelers went into Monday with about $7.5 million in cap space by my figures. After the release of Keisel and signings of Spaeth and Moats, they have . . . about $7.5 million in cap space.

This, of course, assumes Spaeth and Moats signed for veteran minimum deals with signing bonuses in the $250,000-$500,000 range.

@ The Steelers released a statement from GM Kevin Colbert on Monday basically saying they have been in contact with safety Troy Polamalu's people but there's nothing new to report on his status.

Meanwhile, reports are beginning to surface that Polamalu is likely to retire by the end of the week.

We'll see if that's the case, but here's hoping it's true.

If Polamalu doesn't retire, the Steelers will likely be forced to release him. Nobody wants to see that happen.

The Steelers are gently pressuring the 8-time Pro Bowler to make that move. But they want to give him time to make this life-changing decision. He deserves that much.

@ As expected, the Steelers also tendered offers to restricted free agents Robert Golden, Antwon Blake and Will Johnson.

Since there has been little movement on restricted free agents in recent years, all should be back with the team in 2015.

@ BTW, I wrote last month that it's silly to look at last year's results and try to determine which games are going to be difficult.

Case and point will be the San Francisco 49ers, who are undergoing a major upheaval right now.

That looked like a tough game on paper - and still could be - but the 49ers are set to lose a lot in this offseason.


Zeke R said...

I don't like the release of Diesel

Patrick Staub said...

I don't like it either. I love it. It's 2015 not 2005. I was hoping to news of Troy retiring or being released today but this is great news also.

marc said...

They need to move on and the cap space for whoever they sign at OLB. I'm sure keisel is a fall back if something happens to the DE position by training camp.

Zeke R said...

Gore to back up Bell?

Anonymous said...

All these teams throwing money at Gore blows my mind. The guy is freaking OLD. There are plenty of better options with less name recognition.

I wouldn't give much more than the veteran minimum at this point.

Dale Lolley said...

The Keisel ship has sailed. They're not bringing him back now.

Gore is signing with Philadelphia.

Anonymous Brian said...

Favorite Polamalu play was in the first quarter of the 2009 season opener v. Tennessee. 3rd-and-6 draw to Chris Johnson. Polamalu comes flying in from pretty deep and drops him before he gets started. Almost looked fake he got there so fast.

Anyway hope he retires, too.

Speaking of retirement, and the 49ers upheaval, what's the deal with Patrick Willis? I know, wrong team, but he's what, 30, coming off a toe injury?

Zeke R said...

Dale: I think Gore backed out of Philly, that's why I mentioned it.

Dale Lolley said...

Either way, he's not signing anywhere to be a backup

Patrick said...

I wouldn't underestimate a toe injury.

Favorite Polamula play was his pick 6 in '04 where he ran Palmer over to get into the endzone.

His pick against Atl in '10 was incredible too. I was also at the game in Philly when he made one of his finger tip interceptions (but they lost that game and it was UGLY, so I never recall it fondly)

Eric T said...

Favorite Troy Play: Pick Six to basically seal the win in AFC Championship against the Ravens. Replays of it still give me goosebumps.

Anonymous said...

How about Jake Long formerly of the Rams Dave W. in Las Vegas

Anonymous said...

So the Steelers are prepared to pay Cam Thomas 2 million dollars this year to be a horrible backup?

Terrible decision. A guy off the street could be just as awful for much less.

Dale Lolley said...

Just because he is on the roster now doesn't mean he will be later. They kept the more healthy and younger player.

Anonymous said...

and unfortunately, worse

Anonymous said... of my all time faves. Not a talent equal to an Aaron Smith but a man who played at a high level for years. Big heart, good production. But it was time to move on. I'm glad that guys like Heyward, Tuitt and McClendon had a chance to be around a pro's pro!

I really believe that they STeelers have to find some help at CB and OLB in FA. But I know they don't like to go after the bigger names that can be cap killers (Suh is this year's poster boy in that category..he may be worth it, but I doubt it) I'd rather they go after a rush OLB'er in FA because I don't think there will be any worthy of a No.1 pick at R1-22. Corners may/can be found in 2nd round though. I'd rather get some young legs for the corner position than some vet at 28+ years. This is league for young, fast people at that position.

Joe Jones said...

It's such a 'so what' matter.

Good guy, too old. Mediocre production.

I'd like Cam Thomas cut as well.

Joe Jones said...

Colts, Dale. Common mistake or timeline error.

Gore is a tank. He still has another good year left in him, but he's a rare breed.