There is no denying the legend which is Troy Polamalu. The man who re-defined the safety position in the NFL has become a staple in the Pittsburgh Steelers' secondary for over a decade. His No. 43 jersey and flowing mane are as noticeable as any figure in the NFL today, yet here we are wondering what the future has in store for one of the best players to ever wear a Steelers uniform.
Everyone in the Pittsburgh Steelers' front office, from president Art Rooney II to GM Kevin Colbert have been mum on the Polamalu situation for weeks. Head coach Mike Tomlin echoed those sentiments at the annual owners' meeting last week. Essentially, the organization is doing a couple things. First, putting the ball in Polamalu's court, and second, protecting themselves from a publicity nightmare which they've already experienced.
The Steelers like their persona. After all, they are the most successful franchise in NFL history, when gauging success by Lombardi trophies. When the organization mishandled Hines Ward's departure, fans and media alike were outraged with how things went down. Ward was told his services were no longer needed, and even after suggesting he take less pay and a lesser role with the team, they still informed him of his release.
Ward, like Polamalu, is a prideful man and decided to see what other offers might be available. Only problem is, the phone didn't ring. Ward was then without a NFL franchise to call home, and was forced to retire.
What the Steelers have done thus far with Polamalu is the opposite. It is likely the team has informed Polamalu his services will not be required in 2015. The only options still available for the veteran safety is whether to retire, or to try and find work elsewhere, and unlike with Ward's departure, the team seems committed to waiting out the All Pro safety.
Is Polamalu waiting for the phone to ring, but only hearing silence? Or is he biding his time until his likely post June 1st release to sign on with a team like the Tennessee Titans and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau? No one truly knows the answer to that question.
As for the Steelers organization, there is no real reason to press the issue at this time. The team has decided to close up shop, in terms of free agent acquisitions, and has plenty of salary cap space remaining to sign any draft picks they select in the 2015 NFL Draft. Sure, they would like to extend some contracts of current players, but those types of deal typically don't happen till closer to training camp. So, essentially, the Steelers can just wait and see what Polamalu's next play is.
Unfortunately for fans, odds are Polamalu has played his last snap in a Steelers' uniform, but I believe most would agree with me when I say we hope Polamalu hangs up the cleats to avoid the pain of seeing that flowing mane over top another NFL jersey.