The Steelers announced today that they have officially released veteran defensive end, Brett Keisel, a day before the start of free agency.
“We have informed Brett Keisel that we plan to release him today,” Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said in a release on the teams website. “We have had conversations with Brett over the past couple of weeks during which we communicated our intentions to him. Brett has played a major role in our success during his 13 years in Pittsburgh. We appreciate his efforts and we are grateful for what he helped us accomplish, including two Super Bowl Championships. We will always consider him an all-time Pittsburgh Steeler.”
The 13-year-vet was a 7th round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, and was a fan favorite for his famous beard. He also was a two-time Super Bowl champion, taking home rings in both Super Bowl XL and XLIII. He was also on the team that lost Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
Keisel played in 156 games with 114 starts during the regular season, and he played in 16 games with eight starts during the postseason.
His career regular-season totals include 30.0 sacks, 36 pass breakups, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one of which was returned 79 yards for a touchdown. Keisel also excelled on special teams early in his career, recording 33 tackles and two fumble recoveries in the regular season. His postseason numbers include 3.0 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
He came back to the team last season during training camp, and was again a leader on the teams defense.