The Pittsburgh Steelers are faced with plenty of tough decisions coming their way this offseason.
One of their biggest involves whether or not to re-sign veteran defensive end Brett Keisel, who at age 35 needs to decide if he wants to return for a 13th NFL season.
If he does, the Steelers must decide if they want to invest more money in an aging veteran.
Keisel said after the season that he would sit down with his family and whether he would return.
If that sounds like a similar situation the Pittsburgh Pirates have been facing with starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, it should, but judging by Keisel’s recent comments, it sounds like Keisel is ready to go for the 2014 season.
“I think I’ve got a couple [years] left in me,” Keisel said during an appearance with Scott Van Pelt and Ryan Russillo. “I feel great and still feel like I can play. We’ll see what happens.”
Now Keisel has to decide if he is willing to continue his playing career somewhere other than Pittsburgh, the place he has spent his entire career, if things come to that.
Learning a new system at age 35 isn’t something most veterans want to do at this point in their careers.
As for the Steelers, all of the talk has been of how they need to get much younger on defense. Signing a 35-year-old, even though he did some good things last season, seems a bit counterproductive.
While it would be nice to see “The Beard” retire as a Steeler, the likely scenario is that the team needs to move on.
If he chooses to play, it will be odd seeing Keisel in another uniform, but the bottom line is that the Steelers organization cannot continue to keep prolonging getting younger on the defensive side of the ball.