Report: Steelers Reach Agreement With DE Brett Keisel

Veteran defensive end Brett Keisel won’t be signing with the Arizona Cardinals, but it appears as though he will be returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers for one more season.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Keisel and the Steelers have reached agreement that will allow the former seventh-round draft pick to play a 13th year in Pittsburgh.

Keisel, who will turn 36 in September, reportedly turned down an invitation to visit the Cardinals Tuesday after they lost starting defensive tackle Darnell Dockett for the season to a torn ACL.

The return of Keisel to Pittsburgh for one more season will help solidify the Steelers depth on their defensive line. Keisel can now be used as part of the rotation that will likely include Cameron Heyward, Cam Thomas and rookie Stephon Tuitt, in addition to nose tackle Steve McLendon.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Crowned

    I was really hoping Arizona would sign him. I’m only ok with this as a depth move and veteran body. I like Cam Thomas and Tuitt getting as much playing time as possible.

  • stellarsfan

    Definitely excited to see the beard back in the burgh but what does this mean as far as depth chart and roster moves? Does he start over Cam Thomas? Still hope we find room for Mauro.

  • SteelersDepot

    I win.

  • Steeler4Ever

    Great News….I thought he played above the line last year, and has always been a fav of mine.

  • Birdman


  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    Nice call.

  • Caesar

    This makes little sense to me. Just when it seemed the Steelers were going to finally get serious about injecting some youth. The d-line seemed to actually be coming along as a pleasant surprise. This means either Arnfelt or Mauro is good as gone I would think, and the other just ends up on the practice squad. If this takes reps away from Tuitt, it is a bad bad move.

  • Jones


  • steelersfan

    great news. quality depth on defensive line

  • Aric Brown

    Mauro to the PS for sure now

  • Caesar

    And Williams and Arnfelt to the street.

  • Aric Brown

    Im psyched… I was already thrilled with how our young guys and Cam Thomas were playing but Keisels knowledge is only going to help them grow…. red isnt your color anyways… welcome back Beard

  • Lewis

    Kiesel brings experience and great leadership. Not too mention solid depth. This is good.

  • Aric Brown

    Im starting to think Arnfelt was a poor mans Issac Redman… lots of people beating the drum for him (myself included) but no real production… Mauro shows up and plays and he has a great shot at the 53 next year so long as our little sisters ( Arizona and Buffalo) dont poach him

  • Luke Shabro

    You’ve been calling it but I was with David Todd thinking that the staff was satisfied with a rotation of Thomas, Tuitt and McLendon if need be but Da Beard is back!

  • Jacque Strappe

    LOVE IT.

  • Luke Shabro

    Good comparison Aric. I thought Redman was going to be awesome and he never really did anything

  • Jason Brant

    I’ve been ragging on you for weeks. You most definitely win! Good call.

    Now the question is what will his roll be?

  • frednash

    Great news!

    He was definitely playing above the standard at the end of 2013..

    Great team loyalty shone by all

  • cp72

    You want to keep rotation of fresh lineman subbing in with the fast pace offenses that are in vogue. We now have 5 starting caliber d-lineman we can run in and out. We could have six if McCullers or Mauro can develop. This is an excellent depth signing and he can be a great mentor for Tuitt and Mauro.

  • Jeff


  • Michael Parker

    There goes Tuitt’s snaps. I thought i was done seeing Keisel being blown off the ball 10 yds for last two years. Smh

  • stairman

    i thought the same thing about redman and dwyer, but seriouly who could run with are o-line back then? Defense was in the backfield by the time either got the hand off

  • Biggie

    I like it but with the quick progression of Tuitt and play of Mauro I am surprised by this. Wondering what the DE rotation will be now with Heyward, Tuitt, Thomas, and Keisel. With McLendon and hopefully McCuller at NT do we keep those 6 only on the roster or do we add Mauro and make Thomas a swing DL. Looks like alot of tough cuts with Fanguapo, Arnfelt, Williams. Could be seeing a number moving to expanded 10 player PS.

  • Jeff

    Haha… This is great. I remember a few weeks ago someone went so far as to call you “obsessed” with the idea that Keisel may return. Great call.

  • Superdriller316

    I’m cool with it as long as his roster spot comes from L. Jones.

  • Aric Brown

    You must have had your eyes closed last year Keisel played good football

  • joed32

    Tuitt and Thomas to the bench?

  • John Fraraccio

    For added depth and bona fide experience it’s a good move…but keep him for just one more year and try to make room for the newbies. Gotta start somewhere.

  • Justin Barlow

    Gotta love this. The way Cam Thomas and Tuitt have looked already, it is clear that we’ll be seeing Keis as a wave player..and as a wave player he will make a significant impact.

    This 6 man rotation of Heyward, Thomas, Tuitt, McClendon, Keis, and McCullers will make the interior of our sub-package a nightmare for spread offenses. The key to beating these is pressure up the middle.

  • Crowned

    Is it just for depth though? If he replaces Tuitt in the Nickel defense I will be very upset.

  • Superdriller316

    I know camp is over, but I’m just wondering what kind of vehicle will bring him to the South Side?

  • Justin Barlow


  • pittsburghjoe

    If you sign him, you have to sign Harrison too. You either go with the youth movement or you don’t. This move says you dont go in this direction. The same argument can be made for the need of additional depth at OLB. Welcome back Silverback. He will be the next addition.

  • keth naab

    Wonderful. Now Tuitt will be stuck behind both Cam Thomas AND Brett Keisel.

    Next up, we resign Will Allen to ensure we can stunt Shamarko Thomas’ development further.

  • Matt Manzo

    That’s what I missed most about him!!!

  • Rob H

    Obviously it’s great to have the depth and leadership he provides, but if they end up losing Mauro or McCullers trying to sneak them on to the practice squad, then it was a mistake. I wonder if they might have panicked a little when Arizona invited him in for the physical.

  • keth naab

    for about 5 minutes, until another team grabs him.

  • keth naab

    ok, now this is something I can agree with.

  • Jason

    Keisel isn’t a starter if that’s what you mean

  • Superdriller316

    Do you think L. Jones is better than, let’s say, Mauro, Garvin, So’oto, H. Jones, or even Moye? I don’t.

  • Tiger Jimmy

    Am I the only one who heard the 2-3 “on the bubble” DL guys who scream &*#$%^ to the Kiesel signing? — Anyone else heard it?

  • Ike Evans

    lol this was such a snake move…..big brother move….Arizona is probably like F*^# those a**holes right now lol

    But in all seriousness….i like the move because its keisel, and I know keisel is going to be good in the rotation as well as teach these young guys the ropes but im just praying they can at least keep my man mauro on the roster now. What is it with Tomlin not wanting to let go? lol

  • pittsburghjoe

    I would think there was some bed wetting involved.

  • Matt Manzo

    Wow. I’m half n half on this.
    His experience is welcomed, obviously the FO isn’t comfy with the young guys. Him rotating in every now and then will be a good thing.
    I hope it doesn’t hinder Tuitts progress, or Cam Thomas.
    Also hope it doesn’t mean Mauro is left in the dust?
    Who’s starting DE now! Thomas or Keisel?

  • Matt Manzo

    I thought Keisel would’ve chosen the warm weather over the snow! Youre right! They probably are pissed right now!

  • T R

    i hate when Dave right

  • Tiger Jimmy

    Article below THE BEARD doesn’t want to up root his FAM to AZ from Pittsburgh due to obvious reasons; if you were a family man you’d know. [ and it isn’t a monster contract to sacrifice for ].

  • T R

    Sorry, the Steelers don’t pannick. This was i’m sure a mutual decision between Keisel and the Steelers.. He really didnt want to leave the Steelers and up root his family. I’m sure he made one last call to the Steelers and worked it out.

  • cp72

    Let’s not be to quick to turn Mauro into Aaron Smith. He’s wasn’t drafted and was a long shot for the 53 before the Keisel signing. Nice young player with some upside yes, but not ready to play when the bullets start flying.

  • Aric Brown

    Thats definitely what happened… they were planning on using him as an insurance policy

  • Aric Brown

    Nah… he loks great, but its in the 4th quarter of preseason

  • gene mann

    Bingo called this from day one ,I like the idea of going younger but the only DL that showed promise was Josh Nauro

  • T R

    his beard doesnt look very attractive in the warm weather.. it looks like a dirty ole man in the heat. LOL

  • Rob H

    Believe me, I’m under no illusions about him being another Smith, but you’re talking about a young guy with a ton of upside, who has impressed a lot of people.

  • MC

    Happy about this because i don’t think it’s going to hinder the progress of guys like Tuitt. I don’t see Kiesel starting unless Tuitt isn’t showing anything at all. Tuitt however, based off his two preseason games, looks like he is coming along nicely.
    Kiesel’s leadership and veteran knowledge can help the young guys also.
    Yes steelers need to get younger, but they also need to win. If the FO believes having Kiesel will help the transition to youth better if he’s there for one more year and can help contribute some W’s then im all for this.

  • mlc43

    Are you serious? While I’m concerned what this move does for our youth movement, I’m not at all worried about Keisel’s ability to play at a high enough level…especially with him in a rotation.

  • Tiger Jimmy

    Perhaps Landry Jones simply had a bad game? What does the ever circumspect Dave B’ think regarding his roster chances?

  • cencalsteeler

    If Mauro gets sent to the practice squad, gets snatched up by Arizona, then who wins? Torn on this until roster cuts…..

  • mlc43

    I’m more than okay with this move, though I’m a little concerned on who we are going to lose now to make room for him on the roster. He provides solid leadership, mentoring and…oh yeah..he’s a great player as well. Now I’m holding my breath to see how the rest of the DL roster shakes out.

  • cencalsteeler

    His locker was NEVER cleared out,…. this was the plan all along.

  • greeny

    Harrison is in better shape and we need more depth at OLB. Worilds has not set the world on fire this preseason and he is better than JJ. With the additional practice squad personnel we need to sign 92.

  • Gautama Om

    Of course, for so many reasons.

    Why would you turn down a solid veteran with extensive experience in your system to help keep your DL fresh and for depth protection in case of an injury?

    Although the heart of the defense is it’s LB’s , their success wholly depends on the quality of play of the DL. If you did not know that already then you’re probably not a Steelers fan or a greenhorn.

  • James Kling

    Who says Tuitt will be behind Keisel?

  • Still_JPDQ

    Next up, Silverback!

  • Dorian James

    I guess they think Josh Muaro and Howard Jones are going to be able to get to the practice squad.I was a Brett Keisel fan before he even started but I do think this is a bad idea

  • Still_JPDQ

    Huh, I actually posted. Does this mean I’ve been “unbanned” Dave? Or maybe it’s just a ghost in the machine….

  • Steelers12328882

    Wow, nice job holding true to your prediction that whole time.

  • Ellwood Davis

    If you watch plays carefully, Keisel does get blown off the ball more frequently than you’d expect. Joe Thomas gave him an old fashioned butt whipping several times that I could not stand to watch. He’s not the only one too. Watch him on running plays. I’m also concerned about what this means to the young player we have in camp, who represent the future of the Steelers. Keisel could get old at any time this year, and we would have put at risk players like McCullers or Mauro.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    This is a great move. He is a veteran who will help with some snaps. Here’s a solution for the roster situation… Cut Landry Jones and you can keep Mauro and McCullers

  • Ryan

    I think most of you on here need to chill out on the Mauro hype. Good performances in 2 preseason games against mostly backups and fringe roster players doesnt exactly make him a hall of famer. Hes essentially this years Adrian Robinson. Also Da Beard is is most likely just a rotational player this year unless an injury forces him to be the starter so quit wiggin out about the youth movement stuff, its still on.


    I would personally rather have a young rookie than a 36 yr old anything.

  • Ryan

    We already have a young rookie named Stephen Tuitt. And they are still likely keeping either McCullers, Arnfelt or Mauro or maybe even 2 of them. Given the fact that Heyward, McLendon and Thomas were the only 3 with significant game experience getting Bret back to rotate is a very solid move.

  • Aric Brown

    A bad game? You say that about people that usually have good games

  • 2443scott

    time to start growing that beard brett ……the def is set pretty good got a vet there now just in case ….i am glad he gets the chance to finish off a career in front of his family and steelers nation family he was let go with out a steeler fair well tour now he and everyone can spend another year together to hug and cry and have a happy ending to a great career ….so to all the league out there …..FEAR THE BEARD ITS BACK……..

  • Michael Parker

    He was pushed around ALOT. I love the guy but its not 2009 anymore.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Good call by Dave having Keisel on his last roster predictions.

  • Gautama Om

    1) Keisel isn’t starting but a part of a rotation. Given this, he should be fresh and playing close to his best. 2) He’s insurance in case we catch the injury bug along the OL 3) He’s here to mentor, a different set of eyes besides that of Coach Mitchell. Same thing that Aaron Smith did for Keisel when he was a rookie.

  • Michael Parker

    Lets just hope he’s used in a rotation. Great leader, even better guy, but he struggled at the point of attack last year. Its time to move on.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Maybe we can trade Cam Thomas to Arizona.

  • IckyD

    Not to mention that Keisel is now VERY well-rested, healthy, strong and knows the defense inside and out.

    My hope is that he is somewhat lighter, quicker and ready to share the spotlight with all the new young talent.

    His leadership, experience, and apparent willingness to play a role rather than be “the man” can only help this young, gifted group of d-linemen.

    I think this was the plan all along….

  • IckyD

    Silverback will likely only be back in the event of [G-d forbid!] a lot of injuries to the OLB depth, which seems unlikely.

    Too much pass-coverage required in today’s game for our old monster of the gridiron…

  • awlcohen

    If BK is such an important piece of the team, why did the team wait so long to sign him? Clearly a panic move, I’m sure they’ll cut a 21 year old with promise to cling to an “experienced vet” i.e. over the hill player that could only get signed by another team 2 weeks before the season starts.

  • IckyD

    Not sure i agree- Mauro looks more like he’s “ready for primetime” than any other UFA on the team and heis instinctive w/a strong motor, big enough for D-line but agile enough for LB or dropping into coverage as he did repeatedly this week. His rangy build gives him flexibility.

    Aaron Smith has written hhis story. No one thinks Mauro is him- he’s too young w/too much to prove.

    But i’d HATE to see him picked up off waivers by the Ravens or CIN…

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    I am so happy…. bring on da beard! Bring in Harrison too…

  • Eric MacLaurin

    If you’re so sure they’ll do the wrong thing why bother following them?

    Do you like to be angry or just get abused?

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m moving 5 of us across town right now! No way I’d move x country!

  • Superdriller316

    Trade Cam Thomas for Logan Thomas and throw in L. Jones for kicks to KC

  • Superdriller316

    Yeah, Deebo is 10X better than Chris Carter

  • Ray

    I sense an I told you so coming…

  • keth Naab

    i don’t understand your logic. The guy disagrees with the steelers move here. If everybody simply nodded their heads and were ‘yes’ men, ho wboring would that be?

  • Steelers@2010

    At some point you have to move on! I’m not sure how this kid (Mauro) will turn out to be. But I think it would be crazy to sacrifice youth over a player that’s clearly at the end of his career. And when I say clearly at the end, he is already made reservations to enter the 55+ community. Now we know Kiesel isn’t 55, but based on his age, the game he is currently playing, his prime is far behind him.

  • Louis Goetz

    Why would this mean that H. Jones is going to the practice squad?

  • johnhoien

    We need him for the leadership he brings.. Plus people don’t realize he was one of our most consistent linemen last year … Great choice for a player/ coach to help this young D line

  • NW86

    What are you talking about? Allen IS on the roster, has been since last season.
    Also, I think this allows Thomas to be more of a backup swingman. I think we’ll see a rotation of Keisel and Tuitt.

  • joed32

    Do we know that for sure?

  • steeltown

    The Beard!!!!!!… wow did not see this coming

  • Michael Stickings

    I thought this was going to happen, and maybe it was bound to happen after two pre-season games, but with the emergence of Tuitt and the solid play of Thomas and especially Mauro, I’d gone the other way. It’s fine — Keisel can still play at a fairly high level if used appropriately, and I’m assuming he understands what his role will be. My concern is that in the name of depth and experience this blocks a younger guy with potential, maybe even Tuitt, from developing as rapidly as he should. But… there’s no doubting what this guy brings to the team, and of course there’s a reason he’s so beloved by fans.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I disagree with the Steelers all the time. That’s not a problem in any way.

    My question was regarding the expectation that the team is going to do the wrong thing. The quote I was commenting on….

    “I’m sure they’ll cut a 21 year old with promise to cling to an “experienced vet””

    It displays an expectation that they will make the wrong move…again… as though they always make the wrong move. Hence my question about following a team that you expect to make the wrong moves on a regular basis and let you down.

    It isn’t a big enough deal to type this explanation but since you asked…

    I wouldn’t have commented in the first place either because it’s not offensive in itself. It does get a little old having fans constantly complaining and bashing the team and the players. It’s hard to understand why people like to feel bad and share it.

    I like the positive feelings from sports but also like the science, concept’s, stats and projection.

  • joed32

    Keisel will most likely play on the right side, he always has. So he will either rotate with Cam H. or they move Cam over to the left side? He needs to be on the field a lot. Then move Thomas or Tuitt to the right side?
    I have no idea what they’re going to do but I’m guessing we’re going to see a lot less of Tuitt than would otherwise be the case.

  • bustedknuckles

    What happened to a year too early? We just lost a good young fast football player. Smh

  • bustedknuckles

    Harrison would’ve been the better old guy to sign. Olb depth is suspect at best.

  • James Kling

    So, wait… you’re saying Keisel will be RDE and Tuitt will have to win out over Thomas at LDE? I don’t think so.

  • Dorian James

    I only say that because that’s one less roster spot.
    before the signing I thought they both would make it, but now withKeisel,and Greg Warrens injury taking another spot. I don’t think its possible to keep both guys.

  • Louis Goetz

    I’d rather see L. Jones or C. Carter get cut over HoJo I love this kid. But now with the Bell and Blount nonsense, who knows what’s going to happen.

  • keth naab

    this is basically my problem. As long as Keisel only takes snaps away from Thomas, this is fine. I think it digs into Tuitt’s playing time

  • keth naab

    I can appreciate your viewpoint, but I think (well, speaking primarily for myself) a lot of fans have been waiting for us to get the youth movement going, but when we see Keenan Lewis go, when we see Will Allen getting snaps over Shamarko Thomas and Robert Golden, and when we bring back Keisel despite having a beastly young stud in Stephon Tuitt, we get visions of Cam Heyward sitting the bench and “old, slow, and done”-style business as usual.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Would you continue to follow the team if you didn’t expect them to change? My issue isn’t agreeing with the team or not. The issue is not liking what they do, expecting them to continue to do it and following the team anyway.

    Why bother if it isn’t fun and there isn’t any hope.

  • keth naab

    of course I would follow them. I’ve been a fan since the 1970s, that isn’t going to change because of a few years of bad moves by the FO/coaching staff. Until the team shows a complete disinterest in even trying to be competitive (Pirates, from the mid-90s until recently), I’ll follow them as zealously as I always do. I’ll cheer their successes and complain about their failures.