Report: Steelers DE Brett Keisel Would Rather Retire Than Play For The Minimum

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.

  • steeltown

    Haha I was gonna say, give him an even $1MIL, that is not the League minimum and far from “minimum wage”

  • grw1960

    Wonder if Carrington is getting a physical or is on the plane out of town.
    I hate when they have people in for visits at the end of the week. Sometimes have to wait till Monday to see if anything was done.

  • 20Stoney

    Really. I bet people actually working for minimum wage get a chuckle out of that.

  • srdan

    Carrigan sounds like a good move. Hopefully they seal the deal.

  • 804Stiller

    Must be nice to say, “I’d rather retire than work for 1mil!” One of the toughest things in life is self-evaluation. It might be okay to keep Keisel for depth and leadership but it would have to be right at the minimum price range. Nevertheless, I wish him the best.

  • Paddy

    A lot of work goes into playing an NFL season, especially at 36. After taxes that is not a lot of money. Maybe he can just leave his beard?

  • NW86

    Maybe he just meant that he’d rather retire than go to work flipping burgers for $7.25/hour.

  • PA2AK

    Dude is also a family man and playing football at his age take a lot of commitment and time away from his kids. I’m sure there is a bit of pride that factors into it. He’s been a model teammate for years. Just as long as he doesn’t want $4mil a year…I don’t have a huge problem with him letting it be known.

  • 804Stiller

    Good point!!! Yeah, I understand how they feel. Just like I understood how Harrison felt last year. Sometimes when father time catches up, your best value is as a leader/mentor/backup for the team you’ve played for. If I recall, Harrison was offered 3 mil with a chance to make up the other 3 mil in performance based incentives and he ended up playing for 1.5 mil in Cincy. Again, self-evaluation is tough for all of us but he ended up blowing some of his retirement money with that move. Plus, he could have remained in his comfort zone.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    I’d have a hard time rolling outta bed in the morning too knowing all I’m gonna make is a measly million…chump change(lol)

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Well wont we need to give him two contracts anyways? One for him, one for the beard!

  • shawn

    Im SURE it is still min wage to him … some of these guys need to be slapped upside the head … to equate a $Million to minimum wage … i mean seriously … little out of touch with reality …

    now if they say they dont want to take their bodies thru a beating for the league min … i completely understand and respect that decision … but to come off as though they are being disrespected and that a million $$$ is chump change then i look forward to them seeing the “Real World” after their playing days are over …!!

  • shawn

    See Ya … Keisel … dont let the door hit u on the way out .. thanks for the memories !

  • Brendon Glad

    Well, he probably would take the minimum if it was after the season started…and that’s probably the situation where he’d be needed anyway…so hopefully he will still be hanging around in case of an emergency during the season. If not, then it was fun watching him play.

  • shawn

    U are 100% right ! It NEVER ceases to amaze me at how poor and out of touch people are at self evaluating themselves … amazing

  • shawn

    his value isn’t a dollar over vet min at this point … thats just life bud … ego has no place in reality !

  • shawn


    Would like more details if u get the chance on the rule that vet min counts as only 635k against the cap .. interesting

  • steeltown

    Who’s to say that’s not what Keisel said??

    They quoted his agent.

  • shawn

    im not putting words in his mouth .. just saying … he’s not worth more than vet min … and some of these guys just have an unrealistic attitude and poor self examination of themselves ala James Harrison which not only cost him $$$ in the long run but also tarnished his image and legacy of not ending his career in Pitt …

    contrary Ike was Smart and did not let Ego get involved … EGO has no place in Reality !

  • PA2AK

    I agree, and I would say there is a difference between pride and ego…
    As for value, also have to consider what it’s worth to a team that has 1 DE under contract. Unless they wrap up a vet FA soon, he’s worth every penny of a $1mil contract.

  • PA2AK

    not so sure Keisel is having an ego problem. the guy is a committed father at 36 years old. for him, vet min may not make sense when considering all the factors that go into it. what did he do over the course of his career that suggests he has an ego problem?

  • PA2AK

    do you secretly hate all things steelers? i’m not clinging to your every word by any means and this is largely anecdotal evidence, but you seem to have nothing but negative comments on everything. of course, you could probably make the argument that i seem to drink the steelers kool-aide on every move too.

  • shawn

    i dont quite get the pride part … i guess I’m a little different …

    I LOVE the GAME of Football and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit if at the end of a career they wanted me to play for less (as long as the body could hold up and still had love for the game and of course i wasn’t broke)

    now if i was just doing it as a job … i can see how pride gets involved …

    But then again it wouldnt bother me one bit if i had a great career like Kenny Stabler or Ray Guy … and never got into the HOF … doesnt diminish what u did one iota …

    I guess everybody is different !!!

  • PA2AK

    i hear you. and i think i’d be on the same line as you.

    just don’t have a real clue what it takes to play in the NFL…let alone at 36 with a bunch of kids at home. I imagine he’s done OK with managing his money, so maybe the vet min isn’t enough to get him out of the house? who knows. I like the guy, and he seems to be a very level headed individual from all accounts. I don’t think this comment came out with a bad attitude behind it is all im saying.

  • Richard Edlin

    Given the quality of the ‘replacements’ on offer Pittsburgh and the loss of most of the D-Line through being unable to afford new contracts for them, Pittsburgh may need to resign him. Paying over the odds for veterans in Pittsburgh … whowouldathunkit?

  • shawn

    ya very well might not have … i like the guy too .. i mean really after taxes and agents etc a million is a lot closer to under half a mil take home pay (still decent chunk of change) but at current prices in the US along with a family … that doesnt go nowhere near what it used to … so if he has to weigh that with injury and his health, body etc … i completely respect and understand that ..

    i was more judging the Harrison decision … where his head was up his @$$ and he thought he was worth more …. and instead ends up getting less than offered and winds up in a Bungle uniform !

  • PA2AK

    have to agree with that. Harrison was offered much more than he was worth and left to take less than…in of course the bungle uniform.

  • Nolrog

    I was thinking the same. If he thinks that’s minimum wage then he’s well out of touch with reality.