The Pittsburgh Steelers Are Making the Troy Polamalu Situation Harder Than It Is
The reports of the Pittsburgh Steelers wanting Troy Polamalu to retire sooner rather than later so they won’t be forced to cut him have been around for almost week now, yet nothing has happened. Based on the way Polamalu played last season, the Steelers are well within their rights to let Polamalu, who turns 34 in April, walk away to avoid taking the $8.25 million cap hit. However, they seem to waiting around for Polamalu to decide if he wants to play one more season, which is somewhat respectful to Polamalu but the Steelers front office is making this situation much harder than it should be.
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On Monday, Kevin Colbert and the Steelers made this statement about Polamalu.
"“At this time, we do not have an update on Troy Polamalu or his contract status. We will continue to communicate with Troy and his representatives regarding his future.” – Kevin Colbert"
So that means what? The Steelers are just going to sit on their hands to wait for Polamalu to make a decision? There is one simple solution to the problem. Cut him now. That might sound harsh and there is nothing I want to see less than Polamalu in another jersey, but if the Steelers don’t think he can play at a high enough level next season than what are they waiting for.
Us fans can hope and wish that players like Polamalu and Ben Roethlisberger can leave the game with a storybook ending like Jerome Bettis or John Elway or Michael Strahan did, but things don’t always turn out that way. It is the front offices job to realize that the NFL is a business. Clearly they think Polamalu is done. If he decides to come back, what then? Do they not actually cut him and let him struggle through one more season like the New York Yankees did with Derek Jeter last year?
The front office needs to act a little bit more like the New England Patriots, who were in a very similar situation with Vince Wilfork. It seems like those two left on decent terms and now Wilfork will determine if he wants to keep playing or possibly retire having only played in one uniform.
I would stink if Polamalu decides to come back and he spends his final year in a Tennessee Titans jersey or somewhere else but at the end of the day Troy Polamalu is one of the all-time best Steelers players ever and when he inevitably gets inducted into the Hall of Fame all you will see is Steelers highlights, not him being 34 years old in a Arizona Cardinals helmet. It’s a tough situation for the Steelers and Polamalu, but nobody gets to play forever and the Steelers have to do what’s best for them and what gives them the best chance of winning now.