Steelers haven't contacted Brett Keisel about a new contract

Jonathan Daniel

The 35-year-old veteran is preparing to play elsewhere, his agent told the Tribune-Review. That doesn't necessarily rule out his return to Pittsburgh at some point.

No conversations between the Steelers and free agent defensive end Brett Keisel are currently underway, Tribune-Review reporter Alan Robinson reported in Friday's edition, citing Keisel's agent. Not that it is much of a surprise. It doesn't eliminate the possibility Keisel might return at some point, but with the Steelers' recent flurry of activity - the extensions of Heath Miller and Troy Polamalu as well as the release of Larry Foote - it's tough to determine whether the Steelers are truly enacting an "out with the old" policy.

It appears to be more wait-and-see in terms of free agency, which begins league-wide at 4 p.m. ET March 11.

The Steelers are at the salary cap, or slightly above it, depending on the details of the multiple deals that went through this week. At least one other roster move should be expected before Tuesday's deadline.

That move won't likely be the re-signing of Keisel, and it shouldn't be expected that Keisel signs elsewhere immediately at the start of free agency. Perhaps, though, after the expected re-work or release of Ike Taylor's contract (a release would save $7 million against the cap), the Steelers look into a free agent defensive end, but most likely, expect the team to contact pending free agent Al Woods.

Woods has position versatility and proved his value in multiple roles last season. He will carry a light price tag and, on March 25, will turn 27 years old. He would carry a good amount of value in a Steelers defense that likely will be down two starters from the beginning of the 2013 season - Keisel and former first round pick Ziggy Hood.

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