Since last season ended, longtime Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel has been in limbo.
As a free agent, the 35-year-old Keisel has said at numerous times that he would like to continue his playing career and now a return to the only franchise he has ever known could be a possibility.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Steelers “remain interested” in having Keisel back for a 13th season with the club and that he would probably already be back with the team if he weren’t looking for more than the Steelers are offering.
Bouchette also notes that the Steelers want to pay Keisel a salary of $955,000 with a signing bonus of $65,000 under the minimum salary benefit rule.
The Steelers gained some addition salary cap space when LaMarr Woodley‘s release became official at the beginning of June.
They still have to sign the remaining of their draft picks and according to Spotrac.com, the Steelers will have $1.5 to $2 million left to play with. If they could get Keisel to accept the deal reportedly offered, he would count $635,000 against the Steelers’ cap this season.
Keisel has battled injuries the past couple of seasons, but when he has been on the field he has still played pretty well.
The veteran started 12 games for the Steelers last year, recording 29 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.
The Steelers drafted Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt in the second round of last month’s draft so a Keisel return would be beneficial in a couple of ways, one of which includes him being a mentor to Tuitt.
Tuitt’s presence also means that Keisel could have a reduced workload this season and that could go a long way to keeping him healthy.