What owner wouldn't want a marquee franchise icon to finish his career with his team?
Not Art Rooney II. He doesn't want Troy Polamalu to leave.
Will he have much of a choice? Polamalu has a $10.88 million cap charge for the 2014 season, and with $2.6 million in dead money hanging over them if he is released, they are in an actionable position.
But if Polamalu doesn't want to budge, he'll finish his career elsewhere.
At the same time, it's really not too hard of a move. Polamalu would get new money guaranteed for at least this season, and the Steelers would have one of their two safeties from the past six seasons still in town. It's highly unlikely Ryan Clark returns in 2014.
So it's kind of like everyone wins.
"We would very much love to have Troy retire as a Steeler and expect that he will," Rooney said during a conference call with season-ticket holders, as transcribed by Scott Brown of ESPN. "He's obviously been one of the great Steelers of all time."
It's unfortunate in many ways it's not an era of the game in which team legends retire with their teams. For the sake of Steelers' fans, it'd be better to see Polamalu finish his career in Pittsburgh, but the salary cap and mitigating issues make that much more easier said than done.
This deal, though, should and probably will get done.
- Drafting at 15 is a huge opportunity
- The best Pro Bowl would be no Pro Bowl
- 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers select OLB Khalil Mack
- Steelers 2014 roster projections: Offensive guards
- Vikings hire Mike Zimmer as head coach, AFC North picked clean
- Mel Kiper mock draft: ESPN Draft Analyst sends Louis Nix III to Pittsburgh at No. 15