2014 Steelers Already a Talking Point

Troy Polamalu began limited practice this week for the SteelersWhile I’m doing my best to keep the faith and hope that the Pittsburgh Steelers can turn their season around this Sunday, I also have to be realistic.

Teams that start 0-3 make the playoffs about as often as your two-year old eats his vegetables.

With that in mind, I’ve already seen a number of discussions on what the Steelers will look like in the 2014 season.

I’ll get much more in depth on these issues when the time is more appropriate but here are some quick thoughts regarding several contractual issues for players.

First up is Brett Keisel. At 35 years old, Keisel’s better days are behind him although we couldn’t have asked for much more from a seventh round selection. He will be a free agent at the end of this season and I just don’t see a reason to bring him back.

Next is Ryan Clark who will also be a free agent following this season. It’s pretty clear to me that Clark has his sights set on the television world following his career. His frequent stops at ESPN and the NFL Network couldn’t be more indicative of his desires.

I can see a possible scenario where he is brought back for a year but there is no way I would sign him beyond that. He had a very good year in 2012, but I wonder if he hasn’t lost a step this season. I’ve seen several missed tackles and a couple of blown coverages that are normally unlike him.

I say it’s time to move on.

Lastly is Troy Polamalu who will have one year remaining on his deal at the start of the 2014 season. Right now, Polamalu looks as good as he has in years with the only exception being that he has yet to come up with the turnovers he is known for.

Polamalu is scheduled for a cap hit next year of about $10.8 million so I have to believe the Steelers will try to re-negotiate that. The issue will only get less clear if Polamalu is able to stay healthy all season long. Even if he does, I still suspect the two sides to meet about the contract in the offseason.

If you’re asking if this may be Polamalu’s last year in Pittsburgh, I can’t say no.

There are other players and other issues to discuss, but I’m going to put those on the back burner in the hopes that the Steelers can turn this season around.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.

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