Year after year the Pittsburgh Steelers are faced with tough decisions on what to do with popular veteran players.
This offseason will be no different in the fact that the Steelers will be faced with difficult decisions on some players that have played a big role in the Steelers’ success over the past decade.
Safety Troy Polamalu is no exception.
While it would be very difficult imagining Polamalu in another uniform, the Steelers must decide what to do with his contract.
There are many around the league who expect Polamalu to be released, but team president Art Rooney II wants Polamalu to stay.
“How we structure or restructure (Polamalu’s contract) is something we will look at in the next few months,” Rooney said Wednesday, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, but I certainly expect Troy will be one of the pieces to that puzzle. … He’s obviously been one of the great Steelers at all time.”
Polamalu showed the second half of the season that he still has what it takes to be a productive playmaker in the Steelers’ secondary.
That coupled with the fact that there should be no way that Ryan Clark comes back next season and the Steelers would be wise to not have to start the 2014 season with two new safeties.
Polamalu is scheduled to make $8.25 million in 2014, the final year of his contract, with a cap hit of $10,887,500. It’s possible the Steelers could sign him to a new contract with extra years and a lesser average salary.
Asking a veteran star player to take a pay cut doesn’t always work out, most recently we saw that with James Harrison, who rejected a pay cut and eventually signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
But when the Steelers commit to keeping a player, like they seem to be doing in the case of Polamalu, they usually find a way to make it happen. Rooney made similar comments recently about retaining Ben Roethlisberger.
I would expect to see Polamalu in a Steelers uniform for the rest of his career.