Since 2006, Brett Keisel has proven he can handle the load at the defensive end position. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round of the 2002 draft, Keisel has done nothing but "PLAY"! Beginning his reign substituting behind the likes of Aaron Smith, he has proven himself as a talented and well respected force on the Steelers defense. So why have no actions ben taken to regain his services?
In a January 2014 interview for the Examiner.com, Keisel was asked if he would return to the Steelers for the upcoming season. His response: "That’s really up in the air right now. I want to continue to play for as long as I feel that I can, and I feel like I can still play." While his name has been linked with conversations with the Detroit Lions, Keisel remains available. One of the biggest hurdles to Keisel being re-signed by the Steelers is salary cap money and the incredible depth in available draft choices this year.
As possibly deep as the 2014 NFL draft may be this year, Keisel has the Steelers tenacity and know how to surpass all perspective draft choices. The top prospect on defense in many pre-draft lineups just happens to be a defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. However, we all know that Clowney will not drop to the #15th pick, nor would the Steelers like him to be available due to his obvious work ethic.
But that’s enough about Jadeveon Clowney, the subject that’s at hand is one Brett Keisel, and why I think the Steelers are making a huge mistake be not re-signing him yet. Hopefully that will change over the next few weeks.
Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports said of Keisel, "He has been through the wars in the AFC North, playing some very physical football over the years and becoming the kind of teammate and leader everyone wants in their locker room." Keisel has prided himself on being a leader and it is evident in everything he has said throughout the free agency period that he intends to be dedicated to keep playing in the NFL and has kept himself in great shape.
Whether the Steelers would go for a defensive end in the first round (15th overall pick) is also suspect. Most agree that the Steelers will focus on finding at least one young receiver to round out the recent signings of Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey to compliment Antonio Brown, and sophomore receivers Derek Moye and Markus Wheaton. And, the Steelers are expected to look for that receiver early on in the draft. Also, the thought of a young unmolded cornerback would not be a bad idea in my opinion.
So I ask, why would the Steelers "NOT" want to regain his services? Or are they just waiting until after the draft to make their move? But by then, it may just be too late. A player with such drive and talent certainly should not be unemployed for long. Either way it goes if Keisel is not re-signed to the Steelers, I am sure that he will be loved and respected as a Steeler wherever he may land.