Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is currently under contract for the 2015 season, but during a Tuesday morning interview in Arizona on the SVP & Russillo Radio Show, the bearded veteran admitted that his future with the team is currently uncertain.
“We’ll see what happens next year,” said Keisel, who is again promoting Head and Shoulders during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. “Rehabbing, see what happens next year. I’m still under contract, so who knows.”
Keisel, who’s 2014 season came to end prematurely because of a torn triceps injury suffered during the Week 13 game against the New Orleans Saints, also admitted during the Tuesday interview that is was initially tough for him last season to be a role player in the Steelers defense.
“I had a hard time with that at first,” said Keisel. “It was very different coming off the bench being a situational guy, more like passing situations. It was different, but it was Coach [Mike] Tomlin’s plan and also my plan. It saved me towards the end but then the old tricep just gave out on me.”
Keisel is currently scheduled to earn a base salary in 2015 of $1.5 million and that’s exactly what the Steelers will save in cap space next season should they release him during the offseason. If, however, he does return for a 14th season, he will no longer be playing in a defense run by Dick LeBeau, as the Steelers longtime defensive coordinator decided to resign several weeks ago. Keisel was asked Tuesday how he’ll remember the time that he played for LeBeau in Pittsburgh
“It’s tough to put into words because Coach LeBeau means so much to me and I know he means so much to so many of my teammates that had the great pleasure of being around him on a daily basis,” said Keisel. “It’s so much more than football. He is a great football mind, a great football coach, one of the best all-time. But there’s so much more to Coach LeBeau than that, that it’s hard to explain how much he has meant to us and a lot of us why we are the people, the men we are off the field is because of his influence.”
With the start of the new league year now right around the corner, we could find out by the early March whether or not the Steelers want him back one more season. During his recent annual meeting with the Pittsburgh media, Steelers team president Art Rooney II indicated that the team is still in the process of trying to figure what the future holds for several older Steelers player such as Keisel and safety Troy Polamalu.
“We’ll have conversations with each of those players and others about what they want to do and whether they’ll fit into the plans for next year,” said Rooney. There’s a lot of discussions to be had in terms of the next few weeks and months.”