CBS's Jason LaCanfora wrote today about potential bargain players that are still available to sign at the end of NFL second wave of Free Agency.
What's left in the third wave is essentially the dregs of the talent pool, the injured, the hobbled, the old and the "character issue" guys.
Rounding off LaCanfora's list is none other than Pittsburgh Steelers beloved defensive end Brett Keisel. Keisel has intimated that he is not done with football yet, and intends to return for the 2014 season, however where he will be playing is another story.
[Keisel is] the kind of teammate and leader everyone wants in their locker room. While many assumed he'd never leave the Steelers, he has, at least for now, and he brings so much with him beyond just an ability to do all the dirty work and ugly things and help set the edge in a 3-4 scheme.
I'd take him on my team on a one-year deal for sure...
I can't help but think most in Steelers Nation would tend to agree with LaCanfora's assessment. "Da Beard" is something of a national treasure, the epitome of a blue collar guy Keisel was a 7th round draft pick in 2002 who worked his way from the bottom to a starting role in 2006, something he would keep up to and through the 2013 season.
At age 35 he is definently over the hill, and his play declined last season, most notably against the run. The days of Keisel in the starting lineup are over.
That said the Steelers have a need for depth along the defensive line, as well as for a leader in the locker room. Keisel can be both.He is very well educated in Dick LeBeau's scheme, and what he brings in terms of intangibles, work ethic and leadership is unquestionable.
Hopefully as time goes on, a reunion between Keisel and team that drafted him over a decade ago becomes a reality. That said, its nice to see such an under appreciated player in has career get some nice press, even if it is as a bargain bin option.