Report: Steelers Interested In Re-signing Veteran DE Brett Keisel

Will the 2014 opponents of the Pittsburgh Steelers have to “Fear the Beard” for one more year?

According to a Monday report by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers are interested in re-signing veteran defensive end Brett Keisel to a one-year, qualifying contract.

If indeed Keisel were to accept such a deal to return for a 13th season, it would mean that he would earn a $955,000 base salary and likely a $65,000 signing bonus in 2014. Keisel’s cap charge then would only be $635,000 because of the veteran minimum salary benefit rule in the CBA.

As I have stated several times, signing Keisel to such a deal would really be a no-lose situation for the Steelers as they could use the veteran at the beginning of the season as a starter and then slowly transition to second-round draft pick Stephon Tuitt.

If ultimately re-signed, Keisel would easily be one of the top-six oldest defensive players in the league in 2014, as he will turn 36 years of age in September.

Earlier in the offseason, Eric Mertz, Keisel’s agent, said that his client would rather retire than play for minimum wage in 2014. It sounds like we will find out over the course of the next few weeks if Keisel has changed his stance.

  • Jason White

    Come back Diesel!

  • RMSteeler

    I like round numbers. Give him a $1Mil base salary and a $100K bonus. He’s worth a little more than minimum.

  • 412 Central

    Good! Now we need Gorilla back!

  • shawn

    Throw Tuitt into the fire … and let him get his feet wet … no need in rehashing the old Steeler team … lets let the young guys play and play early …

    dont see any upside in signing “the beard” barring injuries …. he had a great run … time to walk off into the sunset !

  • Matt Manzo

    Maybe they’re thinking two rookies starting day one is too much? Or they’re doubting Thomas can start?

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    Make it so… I would like to see Harrison as well but I think they few he may, even at his current state, a better starter than either of their outside lbs.

  • Paddy

    They need the money to sign a lot of guys who need extended, Ben, Pouncey Allen, Beachum and or Gilbert.

  • DoctorNoah

    If they give him additional signing bonus, does he still get the veteran cap discount?

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I would put a little more faith in this report if it wasn’t Ed making it. I mean we all know Archer was just blowing off OTAs….or was he. It isn’t the first time Ed made a report without actually checking to confirm his story. For all we know this could be a source reporting news from LAST YEAR at this time. I guess we will find out soon.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Don’t we all wish we could turn down $1,020,000 (955+65) for what is actually less than a year’s work from this point on? For those of you who care, Forbes lists Pittsburgh’s Median Household Income for 2013 at $48,520 (that’s HOUSEHOLD). I am happy for any guy to make the kwan in pro sports but reality is reality- it’s a business. I truly hope that Diesel comes back for a 1 year swan song but paying much more of anything beyond the vet min simply may not make sense. The additional endorsement deals probably push him to over 1.25M when it’s all said and done. Not a bad pay-day for what will ultimately be temporary work.

  • joed32

    He hasn’t been as accurate with his information the last few years as he used to be.

  • dkoy85

    So an unproven rookie, manning the DE position that took Heyward a few years to learn, is a better option than signing Keisel? Keisel is a good security blanket and it only makes sense to sign him. You really want to go into the year with the experience we have at DE?

  • afrazier9

    I feel we need to sign debo not keisel

  • afrazier9

    We need help at olb no de get debo he makes more sense

  • afrazier9

    We need debo back we are thin At olb

  • Virdin Barzey

    Got no problem with this at all. I dont get it. Whats the big deal if a guy is 36 or 26? The question should be can he play to the level needed for that position. If Deisel compete in camp with the rookie and the rookie is better, start him. If not start the Deisel. No rookie should be given any thing. Lets not go from one extreme to th next. Thats not good.

  • Virdin Barzey

    You meant Silverback….

  • SteelersDepot

    that little bit would actually cost Steelers $465K in cap space

  • Steve

    Alzheimer’s slipping in (HA).

  • Steve

    And to think, he don’t want to sign for chump change (1mil)

  • Steve

    James was the best in his prime but he has slowed to a crawl. Think it is a waste of $$$ to bring him back, not a good business decision.

  • shawn

    Yup !

  • joed32

    I tried searching for his age but didn’t find anything, he doesn’t look very old. I hear from a lot of posters around the net that think he lost his main source of info when Bruce Arians left. I don’t know of any facts to support that theory but it would seem to make sense.

  • James Kling

    Wait, I didn’t get that the first 3 times. Say it again!

  • RMSteeler

    In additonal cap space? Sorry Diesel. Maybe some NLTBE incentives? That’s what I like Dave, bringing perspective to us who know so little about the numbers games involved in the cap.


    Go to YouTube and do a search for “Debo.” I don’t know who initially gave Harrison that nickname, but it is perfect.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I think this would be a great signing, from a field and locker room perspective… I think Tuitt could use a year of tutelage. I think Jarvis Jones is going to explode for 10-12 sacks this year. He was so close last year. I think the Moats, Moore and Blount signings gave the team some much needed depth.

  • I’m fully on board with this. The “youth movement” is great, but there’s still a hole at DE and Keisel, in addition to his leadership, character, and experience, is still capable of playing at a high level as long as he’s not overused.

    And seriously, I know sentimentalism shouldn’t really play into it, but it’s BRETT KEISEL!

  • Aric Brown

    I like him for vet minimum

  • Steve

    Steelers are his last chance in the NFL. His mistake was not resigning last year and wanting more $$$. Got too greedy and lost his chance to go out a Steeler.

  • Jeff

    At this point, there is no re-hashing of the old Steeler team, even if we happened to sign BOTH Harrison and Keisel back… You can still “throw Tuitt into the fire”… They know they will be there for depth purposes if signed.

  • NW86

    If Keisel was ready to sign for the minimum, I would have expected that to happen yesterday. My guess is he is still holding out for a little more, and the Steelers aren’t willing to give it (just because they have some cap space now doesn’t mean they should spend it – they will have other things to do with that money as the season nears). Hopefully, Brett will change his stance and sign for the minimum soon.

  • Steelers@2010

    Bad move; time to move on, they might as well start the process now.

  • Moneypenny76

    I really don’t want Keisel back. He WAS great, but is is not the player he used to be and didn’t get the job done at times last season. I would rather use that money to sign a CB if a good one comes available, or extend Allen or Ben. Or just keep it in reserve in case injury strikes later on.

    Every snap Keisel plays is taking a learning opportunity away from a young guy. Let the younger guys get the reps they need to learn the system. There will be a few growing pains, but get them out of the way now instead of playing an aging vet who no longer has the athleticism to play at a high level.

  • CW

    Beachum has two years left on his contract just like Mike Adams. Gilbert, Allen, and Pouncey are the priorities outside of Ben of course.

  • Aric Brown

    I understand what your saying, but A) lets not anoint Tuitt as an immediately better option than an aging Beard and B) Young guys learn from the old veterans

    And on a side note I can’t be the only one that thought Beard played at a high level last year when healthy


    Growing pains…hit the nail on the head there…it’s largely the reason the team was allowed to get old to begin with…the desire, or expectation to win now is going to be there as long as Ben is the QB.

    I’m with you on Keisel, but being realistic…at the risk of sounding hypocritical…I think it’s a better way to usher Tuitt into the position…that one year could prove to be very valuable assuming Brett wants to accept the role of teacher and showing Tuitt the nuances of the position at this level….Heyward got the benefit of it…for the 600k cap hit…it makes sense.