Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) reacts after the Steelers beat the Green Bay Packers 38-31 at Lambeau Field. Keisel recovered a fumble late in the 4th quarter to help set up the winning score. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agency: Pittsburgh Steelers Should Bring Back Brett Keisel

As the NFL free agency period continues to move on, sometimes teams are forced to alter their plans.

That should be the case for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) reacts as he takes the field against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It makes perfect sense after the past couple of seasons that the Steelers make it a point to get younger and more athletic, but given their situation at the defensive end position, they need to pick up the phone and call 35-year-old Brett Keisel.

Coming into the offseason, the last the Steelers needed was to sign a guy who would turn 36 when the season starts, but given the current state of their defensive end position, they may not have a choice.

Right now the Steelers have major issues when it comes to their defensive ends. They have no depth at all. They have no experience opposite fourth-year pro Cameron Heyward and there is no one in the draft that can likely step in and not only start, but be productive from day one.

Throw in the fact that the Steelers are only $300,000 and change below the salary cap right now and it is doubtful that the team will be able to address the position via free agency.

They could target a guy like Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt in the second round, but it could take Tuitt some time to get adjusted to the NFL.

That pretty much leaves Keisel as the Steelers best option.

Of course with Keisel, you are going to have to deal with likely injuries that could cost him a few games, but when he was on the field last season, “The Beard” proved that he could still be productive.

Whatever Keisel gives the team is more than they have right now. Throw in the fact that he would be a great mentor to a young defensive end, should the Steelers elect to draft one early.

When the season ended, despite his popularity, I wasn’t in favor of bringing Keisel back.

Months later my opinion has changed as he may be the Steelers’ best option at this point.

It’s time Kevin Colbert picks up the phone and gets Keisel back in a black and gold uniform for one more season.

Tags: Brett Keisel NFL Free Agency Pittsburgh Steelers

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