It’s probably going to be a little while until we finally know whether or not Pittsburgh Steelers unrestricted defensive end Brett Keisel will play a 13th season in the NFL, but what we do know right now is that he won’t play for the veteran minimum.
According to a Friday report by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Keisel’s agent, Eric Metz, has said his client “would retire before taking a job that pays minimum wage.”
Being as Keisel will turn 36 in September, teams will be hesitant to give him a deal longer than just one season and being that he would unlikely be a full-time starter in Pittsburgh, or on any other team for that matter, it’s really hard to see him getting much more than the $955,000 veteran minimum.
The Steelers could, however, give Keisel a one-year qualifying contract that includes a $955,000 base salary and a $65,000 signing bonus and at that point, the bearded one would technically not be playing for a minimum wage. If he were to sign such a contract, his salary cap charge would only be $635,000, thanks to rules associated with these type of veteran contracts.
The Steelers are currently hosting Buffalo Bills unrestricted free agent defensive end Alex Carrington on Friday and if he is signed, it probably would lessen the chance that Keisel returns in 2014 even more. The Steelers did carry six defensive linemen on their 53 man roster last season, but once you start doing the math in your head and you add Carrington and another backup nose tackle, they would likely have to carry seven in order to accommodate Keisel regardless of the salary he earns.