Brett Keisel Has Not Heard From The Steelers

This can’t be much of a surprise, but according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Alan Robinson, defensive end Brett Keisel has not heard from the Pittsburgh Steelers as of yet regarding his future with the team, his agent has said.

As agents do, Eric Metz talked his client up some, saying that Keisel is “productive, healthy, and has every intention to continue to play football”, clearly indicating that the veteran, who will turn 36 in September, intends to play elsewhere this season if necessary.

Metz also expressed Keisel’s interest in staying with the team, however, saying that his client has always desired to finish his career as a Steeler, which is what Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller now seem set to do.

Despite a general quality level of play while on the field, Keisel has had trouble staying healthy in recent years, missing four games just this past season due to injury, and most of a fifth game. It’s quite apparent that he is not the future of the Steelers.

The question to be answered, however, is whether he can still contribute in the present, or if he’s now simply in the past. Just because the Steelers have not shown early interest doesn’t mean he can’t be a late signing in free agency.

Should that occur, however, I would expect it would be as more of a role player, rather than as a starter, and would probably be a one-year contract for close to the veteran minimum.

Keisel doesn’t stand to have a huge market waiting for him when he hits free agency in a little under a week from where we now stand. While he has one Pro Bowl to his name, he was never a star player, even among 3-4 defensive ends, and has never played outside of the Steelers in his professional career. Don’t expect him to draw the same attention that a John Abraham received last offseason from teams.

One would have to assume that any team interested in Keisel next season will probably not be looking at him as a starter, given his age and recent injury history, despite the fact that he showed he was able to rebound at the end of last season. He ended up recording two sacks and forcing a fumble, while recovering another, in the last two regular season games after returning from injury.

In the meantime, given the lack of communication between Keisel and the Steelers organization, expect that the front office is talking with either Ziggy Hood or Al Woods, or quite possibly both, about coming back next season.

Hood, a former first-round pick of the team, is still young despite having significant starting experience already. Woods is more than capable of playing both end and nose tackle. The position is now a priority given that three of their top four defensive ends are soon to hit free agency. Beyond Cameron Heyward are just Brian Arnfelt and Nick Williams.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • PA2AK

    Agree…not a huge surprise. I wonder what Keisel is expecting to get paid should they discuss bringing him back. With his age and durability being obvious concerns, he’s still a great guy to have in the locker room and teaching others along the way. If he is something near or at the vet min…that’s the only way I see him taking up a valuable roster spot that could otherwise be filled by someone with potential.

  • Jay Jaber

    We need to sign woods as a back up move Steve McClendon to end and sign paul soliai to play nose. We will have a beast d line

  • srdan

    Somewhere around the vet minimum would be good. He was on the ground a lot last year.

  • steeltown

    Pending what happens with Hood, Woods and the draft I could see them maybe bringing him back for one more yr, the vet minimum would be $955K, so I could see offering him $1MIL for 1yr

  • steeltown

    Man that would be nice

  • NW86

    Yeah, this is no surprise at all. Love Keisel, but the only way he is coming back is if we lose both Hood and Woods. And I would expect to hear at least one of them being re-signed in the next 5 days.

    Let’s be honest, Keisel will indeed finish his career a Steeler, whether his career ends next week or next year. He’s not going to play anywhere else, despite what his agent might be trying to say.

  • dkoy85

    Very excited to see what they do in FA.

  • Matt Manzo

    I was against Soliai at first, but after reading that someone said he could be plugged in right now and immediately stuff the running game up the middle, I kinda like it.
    McClendon would be good end, but i want to see what he can do at Tackle with 2 good ends on his sides. I think his speed and intelligence at NT could be cool if the whole line is solid. But then again his speed and intelligence would be cool at DE too!

  • Paddy

    In order for the Steelers to bring in anyone better they need some more bookkeeping with the cap.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Keisel might have to wait until after the draft to see if the Steelers will bring him back for a 1 yr vet min. I could see him coming back as the article states as a role player but not a starter. I’ve always liked the Beard and I think he would be good for leadership on the team if he’s brought back.

  • Jay Jaber

    To be honest mecclendon at times got pushed around at NT I think he will be an amazing end an upgrade over Bret Keizel I don’t think McClendon helped a whole lot in the run game so that being said i really think the steelers will sign 1 or 2 free agents NT and maybe secandary if there is enough cap to play with cause I really think they will take a WR in round 1

  • Steelers12328882

    I’d love to bring Keisel back for the vet min, but the time to get younger is Now! We can wait to sign him until after free agency and the draft, but in the meantime we need to find another option wether it’s a FA, draft pick or doing something like moving McClendon over to DE and picking up a NT.

  • gene mann

    If he is going to take the veteran MIN to be a backup it might as well be with the Steelers and home

  • gene mann

    If they sign a veteran NT like Soilai or even Cody from the Ravens to plug the middle they can move Mclendon to end . that way they can sign Hood or Woods

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agreed I have a gut feeling that this year the Steelers are going into FA like sharks smelling blood.

  • shawn

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a splash with a big FA like Soliai… but if not i think at the least they will get a couple solid starter/contributors