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Could Polamalu Be Playing His Final Eight Games With The Steelers?

AFC Championship: Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers

He’s been the face of the Steelers defense for nearly the last decade, but based on performance and amount owed, there’s a decent chance that Steelers fans could be forced to trade in their #43 jerseys in about two months.

Yes, the clock is ticking on the Steelers career of safety Troy Polamalu, a player that has made a career of wrecking plays and coming up with big plays at big times.

Despite playing in every game this season, the team will have a very tough decision to make on Polamalu once the 2013 season is over, and the final eight weeks could go a long way in making that decision.

The Steelers are 2-6, have an aging defense, and there’s plenty of rumors about players that may not come back, even rumors about coaches that may not return, including defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

The 16th overall pick of the 2003 draft may wind up following the footsteps of now Bengals LB James Harrison, who went into last offseason with question marks about his return.

He was given an option of coming back, but only if would take a pay cut, which he declined to do, and therefore the team ended up releasing him.

When Polamalu inked a four-year deal worth $36.5 million in September 2011, he felt he would retire as a Steeler. “I am happy to say that I will retire a Pittsburgh Steeler” was the tweet that Polamalu declared on the day he inked the deal.

Now, in 2013, there’s major question marks about what players may be on the chopping block, and the safety may be one of them if he doesn’t take a cut in pay.

Polamalu has had injury issues the last few seasons, and is set to make $8.25 million next season and may have to take a cut in pay just like the one that was offered to Harrison.

Once next season kicks off, Polamalu will be 33 years old, and right now with a season of disaster in progress, there’s going to be plenty of questions on what big changes the team will have to make.

One would think that based on who he is as a person Polamalu would take the cut in pay to stay with the Steelers, but it’s not a for sure that he will even be given that offer.

The team may just look to try to revamp and rebuild, and if that’s truly the case, one has to wonder if there’s going to be room for a 33-year-old making over $8 million on a roster of a team that just isn’t winning consistently.

Polamalu at this point isn’t ready to talk about the future, but one has to wonder if the writing is on the wall.

“How I feel now is irrelevant,” Polamalu said. “What matters now is whether we turn it around or not. We can’t really tell until the end of the season. (So), it’s not time to look at hindsight. We’re only halfway through the season. I’ll have a lot of time whenever I’m done playing to look back on how every season went, but now is not the time.”


Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. George H

    November 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I love Troy as much as anybody, but he has lost a step. As much as it would pain me to see him in another jersey, I think possibly cashing in on his perceived value among the NFL teams might be for the best.Now what would his value be? Maybe a desperate team could offer a first round pick, more realistically, maybe a second or a third.

    This leads me to my next question… I know its early, but who else is on the chopping block next year, either a potential trade candidate (although were not a team that typically trades players), or players that could not be retained since their own their contract years?

    Troy P- potential trade candidate or cut against the cap or retire. Obviously the defense will need a replacement for him, but I still wouldnt mind having Troy back for one more year.

    Keisel- Not as productive anymore, getting older, and Heyward is starting to really step it up as his replacement.

    Ziggy Hood- I wouldnt resign him; not a bust, but not what he should be. He is a very average player. I would shift McLendon to DE where hes better suited. This would also mean we need to get a NT to replace Mclendon. A big NT is a major part of the 3-4 defense and McLendon hasnt produced enough in that role.

    Ike Taylor- He just restructured his deal so he will still be around even at his age and losing a step.

    Ryan Clark- Getting too old, missing tackles and rarely tries to make a play on the ball and rather make the big hit. He seems like he’d rather just be on ESPN. Dont resign him and let him retire. Shamarko Thomas can take over for him.

    Worrilds- Hes somewhat productive but I think he can fetch a slightly bigger contract in the FA then what we would be willing to sign him for. Also Jarvis Jones can take over. I am definitely not ready to judge him on such a small sample size.

    Sanders/Cotchery- Sanders can go and get more money elsewhere. He is just not living up to expectations. Resign Cotchery for another year and hope Wheaton develops. I would also try to add a big, physical wr in the draft within the first 2 rounds.

    O-line- Resign Velasco and keep him at center. Move Pouncey to LG where he will be more productive. I feel like he has been living off reputation these past few seasons rather than productivity. This will give us a solid interior line with DeCastro progressing. Gilbert can stay at RT and maybe let Adams or Beachum back him up. I’d love to see a Jake Matthews drafted in the first round this year.

    Obviously there are a lot of holes and positions that need to be addressed, but these are a few I would highly consider addressing this offseason.

  2. Tony S

    November 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    The Steelers need to pay Troy the money and stop complaining. They browbeated James Harrison into taking less money, ran him out of town despite him being perfectly capable of inflicting pain on the opposition and where did that get us? Wonderful, a 2-6 record!! Don’t ditch these guys unless you can guarantee us a Super Bowl, or at a bare minimum, a winning record. Show some loyalty to these guys and make it work.

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