ED BOUCHETTE: Steelers Planning to Play 2015 Without Polamalu
If this is the case. If it comes down to one of the greatest safeties to ever play the game and the greatest team in the National Football league decide to mutually separate, then so be it. As long as both sides recognize that it will benefit that player, as well as the organization in a whole.
Troy Polamalu has never suited up for another team other than the Pittsburgh Steelers during his 12-year NFL career, but it appears that the two parties will go their separate ways in 2015.
Rumors surfaced earlier this offseason that the Steelers organization would like him to retire in hopes of avoiding controversy, but Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirmed yesterday that the the eight-time pro bowler is likely not a part of the team’s plans for the upcoming season regardless.
“Everything I hear is they are planning to play 2015 without Troy Polamalu”-Ed Bouchette
Given Bouchette’s three decades of experience covering the team, I trust his comments on the issue more than just some random media troll.
Will I, or Steelers fans like myself be happy about this if such a situation should arise? Of course not, but being a fanbase that understands the nature of the business we will be able to accept it..eventually.
As long as it ends in Polamalu’s retirement of course, because none of us would be able to muster up the strength to see him in any other team’s jersey. Which is something I do not see happening in a million years. Because unlike most separations in the NFL, this one is not based on the player wanting more money.
Whether he retires or the Steelers release him, I would fully expect the team to hold onto him until June 1st. The team would get an added $2.25 million in cap savings by doing so.nd Polamalu’s release alone would give them enough money to sign all eight NFL draft picks.
No one knows of such a situation better than former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, who went through the same thing following the 2011 season.
He recalled the meeting with coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert and the Rooneys, which they had to give him the news they didn’t want him back..at any price.
“I was a little disappointed at first,’’ Ward said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There was nothing to say, they said I couldn’t play anymore — because I was out there 50 percent on a messed-up ankle because I ripped every ligament in my ankle.”
“I asked for a paycut, whatever the minimum was. I just wanted to play football”.
Of course we all know the outcome of that situation, and like Ward I see Polamalu as the same type of player that has too much respect and family based loyalty to ever sign with another team. Because similar to Ward it doesn’t involve more money for the player, it’s just what is best for the team.
Whatever the case may be, whether the Steelers keep Troy or he is released I will always cherish the passion and excitement that he brought to the game of professional football. Especially because he brought it playing for the 6X Super Bowl Champions, my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. #HofBound
Brian Christopher Jenkins