Troy Polamalu on Steelers future: Chips will land wherever they may

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The Steelers are hoping for a chaotic final Sunday so that they can wind up advancing to the playoffs out of a five-way scrum of 8-8 teams, but that’s not the likeliest outcome.

It’s more likely that the Steelers’ season will come to an end whether Pittsburgh wins or loses and that the team will start their offseason on Monday. That offseason will feature another round of decisions on veteran members of the roster as the Steelers try to get under the cap while also trying to restock the roster with talent that can help them make it back to the postseason.

One player who will be part of those decisions is safety Troy Polamalu. Polamalu, who turns 33 in April, and will have a salary cap charge of almost $10.9 million in the final year of his contract with the team. While he expects to return next season, Polamalu has seen many teammates leave Pittsburgh over the years and knows that the business side can sometimes drive decisions. That means Polamalu is leaving everyting on the table, including the possibility of retirement.

“I don’t know,” Polamalu said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I really don’t know. … The chips will land wherever they may after this game, and we’ll see. I want to play this game as long and as good as I can play it. Whenever that [retirement] time comes, it will come. I’m not sure when it will come, though.”

Assuming the Steelers want him around, an extension that adds a year or more to Polamalu’s tenure could help bring his cap number to a more manageable level. That seems a more likely outcome than retirement or release, but, like Polamalu, we’ll see where the chips land once the Steelers season officially ends.

55 responses to “Troy Polamalu on Steelers future: Chips will land wherever they may

  1. After this season it’s in their best interest to keep Troy in Pittsburgh.

    I would like to see him Sign a new contract that gives him upfront bonus money, but backloads his contract. Omar can structure the contract to give us more wiggle room for 2014 cap. Tough to imagine the team bailing on both Safeties with the lack of depth at the position.

  2. One of the best defensive playmakers ive watched growing up. As he gets older hes getting more vulnerable in coverage. But he still made big time plays this year during his first healthy season in a while . He seems like a player that will be willing to take a paycut to stay on the steelers

  3. I think Troy will be back for at least one more year. Not only has he been healthy and productive but the Steelers would probably like to avoid replacing both safeties in one offseason.

  4. He needs to go. It was a mistake to resign him last time. Steelers are in serious cap trouble for the next couple of years.

  5. Troy is playing awesome football again – he does occasionally give up a big play but he makes 4 or 5 big plays for each one he gives up. Steelers would be foolish to let him go.

  6. Long time Steeler fan myself, and Troy is a legit HoF player, but everyone has to realize when their time has come. Right now Troy is playing more linebacker than he is at safety and realistically cannot cover anymore. At 10M+ in that last year it is “that time” for both sides to move on.

    For Troy this does mean retirement. Look at Ed Reed and don’t follow his path Troy. Yes you are still good enough to be on the field, but are really only a shell of what you used to be. Please take the honorable route and retire and get one of those cushy announcing gigs and call it a career.

    Thanks for all the great memories Troy.

  7. He never turned out to be the safety he was hyped to be. He was really good for 2-3 years but doesn’t seem to be the HOF’er I thought he’d be.

  8. If he wants to play for a division champ and go to the playoffs like his buddy James, we could use a decent backup in Cincy. It would definitely beat battling the Browns for last place to end his career.

  9. If they want to make a good training tape for Pop Warner youngsters of how NOT to tackle, just show Troy’s highlights, most of which involve launching at a defenseless player with the crown of the helmet. The league will be healthier once this guy is gone.

  10. There are certain players that should wear no uniforms other than the team that originally drafted them. Polamalu is one of those players.

    I’d argue that ed reed was another such player in baltimore; however, it has to be understood that the player and the team disagreed on reed’s relative value at the point in his career that they parted ways.

    Polamalu has not slipped to those levels at this point. He has remained healthy and continues to make impact plays on defense. There will be no arguement from me that his play is not what it once was however.

    I see Troy and the team extending the contract by two years to lessen the cap hit. Then I see Troy riding into the sunset prior to that third year ever coming to fruition. Five years latr, first ballot into the Hall of Fame as one of the best safetys to ever play the game.


  11. It would be a shame if he retired, he just seemed to be hitting his stride again the past couple of weeks.

  12. TRANSLATION: Tim Tebow DESTROYED us in the 2011 playoffs, the Cincinnati Bengals flew into pittsburgh in Week 16 of 2012 and DESTROYED us and ended our playoffs hopes, and the future looks bleak as I get older, slower, and more fragile

  13. The AFC North sure wouldn’t be the same without him. (Unless he decides to join up with his old buddy James Harrison, that is.)

  14. He will sign a FA contract with the Eagles in March, from what my insider tells me. He will provide the solid hitting and leadership the Birds secondary needs. He should be a Steeler for life, but they won’t pay him enough, so “Welcome to Philly, Troy”!

  15. If the steelers want to win sorry Troy must go along with others. Time to clean house and get some young blood.

  16. I don’t see Troy leaving after this season, but several to many others will be. Not sure it would be wise to replace two safeties in one season, additionally, he is still a factor up close to the line and can help out, while the younger LB’s develop. Some sort of restructure will probably have to occur in order to keep him, but others like Clark, Taylor, Woodley, and potentially Keisel may help the cause.

  17. Troy had his best year in recent history. He stayed healthy and made some huge plays. Sounds like he would be willing to work with the team on a restructuring for another year. I can’t see Troy in another uniform. He is a lock for the HOF.

  18. .
    Two things the Steelers don’t have :

    1. A deep and talented roster

    2. Cap space

    In order for Pittsburgh to rebound both issues must be addressed this off-season. The city will not stand for a decade of 8-8.


  19. Pittsburgh please release him.

    a) Then Jerry can sign him to a 1 yr contract and be a major improvement at safety.
    b) Can be on field coach for young Dallas safeties
    c) Great locker room presence.
    d) And is younger than Monte Kiffin.

  20. Terrell Suggs cap hit next season is $13 or $14 million. Not to speak of Ngata. Baltimore, get ready for the lean years. Your offense is pathetic.

  21. As I Raven fan, I have watched Polamalu play for some time. He has singlehandedly made plays to beat the Ravens. The guy is awesome and a true NFL star. Hate to say it but I always try to stick to the facts in my posts.

  22. Woodley and Keisel are almost certainly gone because they are breaking down and have younger guys on the roster outplaying them.

    Polamalu is having a great season and still playing at a high level. It would be shocking if he’s not extended a year or even two.

  23. That’s a lot of cheese for a 33 year old Safety so we all know something has to give.
    The Steelers should probably throw their $$ in to rebuilding and extending their younger players.
    As a Bengals fan I would love to see him come to Cincy for a 2 year deal, maybe play the position Taylor Mays was supposed to – LB/Safety and have him defend some TEs, break up screens and blitz. Not sure he should be out in space against WRs anymore.

  24. Ravens fan here. Polamalu still has some good years left in him. He’d be the first guy to pull himself if that wasn’t true. He’d also take a pay cut to stay with The Steelers. Classy guy all around.

  25. The Bungals and their fans are praying the Steelers don’t make the playoffs. The Steelers totally humiliated them a few weeks ago, apparently causing some of their fans to think of games from years ago. Same old Bungals.

  26. Green Bay is desperate for a play making safety. Look at TT to make a quality signing if he is released. He will go to a similar system and fit right in. Packers are one of the few contenders that will have enough cap space.

  27. I would keep a great play like Troy around even at that price tag. He is a very smart player and if nothing else he can teach the younger guys like Shark the position. One more season for one of the all time greats. Steeler for life! Go Steelers

  28. If he won’t take a reduced deal in Pitts, watch Belichick go after him. BB loved him coming out of the college, but went for TWarren instead. He tried to sign a veteran LB/SS hybrid this yr with AWilson, but it didn’t work out. We all know what he did with RHarrison after SD said he couldn’t run anymore. That being said, he’s probably a Steeler for life. They’ll find a way. Wouldn’t look right in another uniform. He’s probably worth 20 mil and doesn’t need to make a big money score. Plus, he’s still got the hair for the commercials

  29. Honestly see Troy taking a pay cut and staying with the Steelers for another year because it makes no sense losing both of your starting safety’s in 1 year since Clark is all but out the door at the end of the season. Troy is an all around class act and a HOF’er without question.

    And With Keisel retiring at the end of the season and fat ass Woodley hopefully being shown the door the Steelers can start inserting some young blood into their Defense and regain their former dominance.

  30. I wish he would start playing in position more. He’s a bit too slow the past few years to keep leaving his coverage responsibilities and freelancing.

    Troy had a beautiful sideline strip of Flynn last week that caused a key turnover that won the game. He’s still got plenty to add to the team, but he really needs to stay home on defense more often.

  31. The “hairball” hasn’t been a serious player on the field for years. He is almost never a factor in any play and at most has an impact on one play per game. The rest of the time he runs around and does nothing – arriving well after the play is over.

    He should retire and become a hair dresser. He’s worthless anywhere else.

  32. Good to see that Ravens fans recognize Troy’s ability and significance to Steelers Nation. Likewise we respect the significance to Ravens history of Suggs and recently retired greats from last year.

    Troy is a Steeler we need next year for our Super Bowl run. Cap space will be fixed when Woodley and Brown are released and other contracts are restructured. Troy is worth his contracted salary. Go Steelers (who knows, we still have a chance for a SB run this year) !

  33. Even in a post about a great player like Polamalu, some of you just can’t help but talk about the Bengals. Jealousy ain’t pretty, but it’s honest.

  34. way past his prime; not enough productivity for years; too many games on the bench; too many other players as good or better are available; too much salary cap, time to say good by.

  35. I see that Polamalu was voted yesterday to his EIGHTH Pro Bowl in 11 seasons. You talent evaluators are hilarious. Better not give up your day jobs.
    Eight-time Pro Bowlers should not be asked, nor should they be expected to take paycuts. Polamalu is just three seasons removed from being named Defensive Player of the Year. While it’s true he no longer anchors a defense that’s able to carry the entire team as it once did (from 2004 to 2011), Polamalu is still a valuable piece of property.
    Troy Polamalu is the Steelers’ most significant first-round draft pick since Joe Greene in 1969.

  36. I see that Polamalu was voted yesterday to his EIGHTH Pro Bowl in 11 seasons. You talent evaluators are hilarious. Better not give up your day jobs.
    Eight-time Pro Bowlers should not be asked, nor should they be expected to take paycuts. Polamalu is just three seasons removed from being named Defensive Player of the Year. While it’s true he no longer anchors a defense that’s able to carry the entire team as it once did (from 2004 to 2011), Polamalu is still a valuable piece of property.
    Troy Polamalu is the Steelers’ most significant first-round draft pick since Joe Greene in 1969.

    Considering how much you ragged on Ben this year you should not be making fun of anyone ones talent evaluation. Funny how you carried on and on and on and on about how terrible Ben was only to go silent in the face of Bens performance the second half of the season. Not that I missed your daily ego rants, but it makes you look so unknowledgeable about Ben’s worth to the team and the level of play he can , and often does, attain.

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