The Pittsburgh Steelers have now made another roster move as veteran defensive end Brett Keisel has been released.
“We have informed Brett Keisel that we plan to release him today,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement on steelers.com. “We have had conversations with Brett over the past couple of weeks during which we communicated our intentions to him. Brett has played a major role in our success during his 13 years in Pittsburgh. We appreciate his efforts and we are grateful for what he helped us accomplish, including two Super Bowl Championships. We will always consider him an all-time Pittsburgh Steeler.”
Keisel was set to earn a base salary of $1.5 million in 2015 after signing a two-year deal last offseason.
Keisel had his 2014 season cut short by a triceps injury suffered in the game against the New Orleans Saints. He played a total of 451 snaps prior to be placed on the injured reserve list.
Keisel was originally drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Brigham Young. He started 114 regular season games for the Steelers during his long career in Pittsburgh. He recorded 30 regular season sacks, two interceptions and forced seven fumbles during his career.
Keisel and his beard will always be remembered by Steelers fans in addition to the charity work that he did for the Children’s Hospital. Keisel sheared his beard annual to raise money for the cause.
Keisel’s NFL career is now likely over as he will turn 37 in September. According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Keisel has said he wants to play in 2015, thus forcing Steelers hands to cut him rather than wait for his retirement.”