The question of whether the Steelers will release safety Troy Polamalu will be answered soon.
Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. ET March 10, and the Steelers would certainly release Polamalu before then, giving him a chance to catch on somewhere else - assuming the Steelers don't want him back in 2015.
According to his agent, he may not play at all.
"Troy is still determining whether he wants to retire or try and play in 2015," Marvin Demoff told Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly. "We will make a decision fairly soon, but (it is) not imminent."
Post Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette recently floated the notion the team is hoping he retires. Ex-Steelers running back Jerome Bettis recently appeared on ESPN, suggesting the team would rather he retire than having to cut the veteran, who's reached legendary status in Pittsburgh.
If Polamalu does announce his retirement, he's likely to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer in August of 2019. He would leave a legacy of five All Pro selections, eight Pro Bowl selection, three Super Bowl apperances with two wins and the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Releasing him would make a dark day in Pittsburgh, but it's a move that's all but certain. Polamalu carries with him an $8.25 million cap hit in 2015, and his contract can be terminated in a post-June 1 move, freeing up $6 million in cap space (available June 2) and spread the remaining bonus money he's been paid on the cap in 2015 and 2016 ($2.25 million each year in dead money).
Polamalu didn't record an interception last year, the first time he's failed to log a pick since an injury-plagued 2007 campaign.