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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Steelers' Brett Keisel wants to remain in Pittsburgh


By on 1/29/2014 12:00:00 PM

The Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly missed the playoffs this year, despite going 0-4 in the beginning of 2013 and ending with an 8-8 record. With a myriad of coaching changes and free agency looming, one veteran defensive end is not thinking retirement. 

Brett Keisel, the 12-year veteran defensive back for the Steelers, was in New York taking a part in Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday (asking hair-related questions as part of a promotion for Head & Shoulders) and ended up doing some answering on his own.  According to Keisel, nearly a month after his 12th NFL season ended, told ESPN's SVP & Russillo that retirement is not on his radar even though he is 35 years old and has played out the five-year contract he signed in 2009.
"I think I've got a couple [of seasons] left in me," Keisel said on the syndicated talk radio show. "I feel great and still feel like I can play and we'll see what happens."

Keisel is headed for free agency and much talk in Pittsburgh has focused on the need for the Steelers to get younger on defense. In his illustrious 12-year career with the Steelers, he has collected 391 combined tackles, seven forced fumbles and 29 sacks. The issue with Keisel has been injuries. Various injuries have limited him in each of the last four seasons, causing him to miss 11 games out of 64. Keisel was a Pro Bowl selection in 2010, and had two sacks in the Steelers' last two games of the 2013 season.



SteelCityHobbies via Wikimedia
To stay a Steeler, Keisel would have to accept a drastic pay cut, as he made $4.9 million in 2013, and probably a reduced role on the field.  Odds are good he will get a contract somewhere this off-season, as veteran defensive ends in 3-4 defenses aren't usually sitting on the market for very long. What kind of opportunity Keisel will be presented with is up in the air, yet he wants to remain in Pittsburgh, noting how he and his wife want to raise their family there regardless. 

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