Are the Pittsburgh Steelers going to keep safety Troy Polamalu for one more year? Originally I thought we might know Polamalu’s status for the 2015 season by the end of this week, but after doing some CBA research, we’re likely going to have to wait another week to find out whether or not he’ll wear the black and gold again.
So, why will we need to wait?
If the Steelers are going to designate Polamalu as a post June 1 release, the CBA says that he can’t officially be released until the start of the new league year and that is March 10. That’s the same reason why the Carolina Panthers have yet to officially release veteran running back DeAngelo Williams, even though they’ve already told him that he won’t be returning next season.
If the Steelers do indeed wind up releasing Polamalu at the start of the new league year and designate him as a post June 1 release, they will still have to carry his full cap hit of $8.25 million until then. Once June 1 passes, they would clear $6 million in cap space and that should be more than enough to accommodate the remaining draft picks that remain unsigned.
In a recent radio interview, Steelers soon-to-be veteran unrestricted free agent cornerback Ike Taylor said that Polamalu still wants to play and that he’s already started his offseason training. If ultimately released by the Steelers, one would think that Polamalu might end up with former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who was hired several weeks ago by the Tennessee Titans to oversee their defense.
The Steelers could always ask Polamalu to take a pay cut to stay, but I will be surprised if the safety would agree to one. We shall see, but regardless, don’t expect to get any clarity on Polamalu’s future until March 10 or 11 unless the Steelers tell him ahead of time and that word leaks out.