NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport is credited with reporting that, per two sources within the Steelers organization, Troy Polamalu will not return to the team in 2015.
That information comes from NFL.com's Around the League, and according to their article:
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the organization believes the celebrated safety has played his last game for the Steelers, per a pair of team sources.
Rapoport was told that the defender is not in Pittsburgh's plans for 2015 and won't be back. The only question is how his exit will play out.
Rapoport did not Tweet the news, but did respond to a Pro Football Talk scrape of Ed Bouchette's recent chat. Bouchette said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh Tuesday "I expect him not to be here by some means. The Steelers are hoping he would retire, but I don’t know if he is going to."
Pro Football Talk did a piece on the issue Tuesday, to which Rapoport responded via Twitter:
Either way he won’t be back RT @ProFootballTalk: Steelers may want Polamalu to retire so they don’t have to cut him http://t.co/NuqSdbQ00H— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2015
The heart of the issue for Polamalu is his salary. He's scheduled to receive $6 million in salary, and with residual money coming from a bonus he was given last season, the Steelers could save that $6 million, minus $2.5 million in dead money both in 2015 and 2016 if he's a post-June 1 release.
We expect that to be the case, and however Rapoport reported it, it's believable. Polamalu declined last season, and whether there will be a market for him elsewhere in the NFL (hello, Tennessee), his value cannot be valued at $6 million this season.