After 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, veteran safety Troy Polamalu has decided to retire
Polamalu told Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider in a Thursday interview that he has informed owner Dan Rooney that he has played his last game for the black and gold.
Polamalu, who was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of USC, played in 158 regular-season games for the Steelers in addition to 15 playoff games and three Super Bowls. During that span he was voted All-Pro five times and made eight Pro Bowl teams.
Polamalu, who was voted the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, recorded 770 regular-season total tackles and 32 interceptions during his long career in Pittsburgh. He also returned three regular-season interceptions and two fumbles for touchdowns.
Polamalu has three career playoff interceptions to his credit and one of those, which he returned 40 yards for a touchdown, came in the fourth quarter of the 2009 playoff game win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Polamalu, who will turn 34 in less than two weeks, missed four games last season due to a knee injury. A calf injury in 2012 also limited him to playing in seven games that year.
2014 was the first year that Polamalu failed to record an interception since 2007. He still, however, recorded 61 total tackles and forced one fumble.
The Steelers iconic player will always be remembered for his long curly black hair and his penchant for making the big play when the Steelers defense really needed it. He was a model player both on and off the field and surely will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible.
Words can’t describe what Polamalu meant to the Steelers and his career highlight tape would likely be 30 minutes in length. I am fortunate enough to say that I got the opportunity to watch every one of Polamalu’s games.
Polamalu still had two years left on his current contract. He was set to earn $6 million in 2015 and assuming his retirement is made official after June 1, that’s the exact amount the Steelers will clear in salary cap space for the upcoming season.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) April 10, 2015