Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider broke the news late Thursday that the Steelers legend Troy Polamalu had decided to retire.
There have been questions since the loss the Baltimore in the 2014 playoffs if we’d all seen the last of Troy’s flowing locks in the black and gold.
Recently it appeared that the Steelers and Troy could be in for a rocky ending to the relationship.
Ed Bouchette reported that the Steelers “hoped he would retire” so they wouldn’t be forced to cut him.
Not to toot our own horn, but Steel City Blitz’s own Marc reported that there was a tense relationship between Troy Polamalu and Mike Tomlin that stemmed from a divide between young and old players in the locker room.
Many doubted our report, but similar stories were then confirmed by Pittsburgh media like Mark Kaboly and Dejan Kovacevic.
Many felt Troy would force the Steelers to cut him, and that he may join Dick Lebeau in Tennessee.
However, now it appears that the two sides can have their happy ending, which is how it really should be.
I wouldn’t lose one bit of respect for Troy if he played elsewhere. Players going to other teams has never bothered me (no, not even Rod Woodson going to Baltimore)… but there is something special about guys like Hines Ward and now Troy never wearing another uniform.
You’ll read plenty today about Troy’s career accomplishments, so I won’t delve into those here. The list is long, and most of you remember them vividly.
I’ll simply say that I believe Troy is one of the top 5 safeties of all time (maybe top 3), and I feel I was pretty lucky to watch the amazing rivalry between him and Ed Reed in their prime years. It’d be pretty cool if they were enshrined in Canton in the same season.
If Troy’s not the best safety of all time, he’s certainly one of the best play-makers regardless of position of all time. He had a knack for being in the right place at the right time… and I think he’ll go down as one of the most unique players in NFL history; in that he was essentially a linebacker and defensive back.
Joe Greene is the pinnacle of Steelers greatness, and I don’t think we’ll ever see anyone surpass him in Steelers lore, because he’s the man that started it all… but if anyone could match his greatness in the black and gold, it’s Troy.
While “officially” retiring jerseys is rare in Pittsburgh, there’s no question that #43 should never be worn again.
Troy Polamalu was the ultimate family man, philanthropist, teammate, leader, X-factor, playermaker, and all around amazing person. I’m sure we haven’t seen the end of 43 doing amazing things, even if it’s no longer on the football field.