The Steelers are putting a little twist on the former player coming back to sign a one-day contract so he can retire as a member of his old team theme.
They’re going to have four former Steelers come back to “retire” as members of the team at their Friday night public practice. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Willie Parker, Joey Porter, Aaron Smith and Marvel Smith will take a final lap in front of the fans.
The quotation marks are necessary because they aren’t going through the motions of signing the one-day contracts, but just showing up to announce the end of their playing careers. Two of the players, Parker and Marvel Smith, fall into the category of whether a formal announcement is even necessary. Parker last played for the team in 2009, and recently kicked off a collegiate coaching career, while Smith last set foot on an NFL field in 2008. Porter and Aaron Smith both played last season, but injuries helped close the book on their playing days.
There are moments when the retiring as a member of a team thing feels ridiculous, but this is an appealing approach to it. The fans have plenty of memories of these players and inviting them to share in the moment is a win for both sides.