Troy Polamalu
(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

Father time has struck again. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has officially decided to hang up the cleats after 12 years in the steal city. The Steelers had asked him to retire in February for salary cap reasons, a couple months later he has decided to abide by those wishes. Polamalu told the team his decision Wednesday night.

“Since the end of the season I’ve had a chance to enjoy my family on a level that I never had before. It was awesome,” Polamalu told the Herald-Standard of Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

“Since the end of the season I’ve had a chance to enjoy my family on a level that I never had before. It was awesome,” Polamalu told the newspaper.

“Thank God football has provided me the ability to be able to sit back and see what the options are. But I’ll definitely be the best father I can be.”

Polamalu added with a laugh: “Maybe it was a sign for me to retire when I chase my kids around and couldn’t catch them. It was either a sign for me to retire or a sign for them to begin training.”

After watching his play a year ago it was apparent the time was now to hang it up. The Steelers will now throw Shamarko Thomas into the starting strong safety role. The decision wasn’t always easy for Polamalu. There was the rumored connection to Tennessee after defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau departed. Polamalu added to that statement.

“I did not seriously consider playing elsewhere,” Polamalu said in a phone interview with Jim Wexell. “It was just whether or not I wanted to play.”

“Part of the reason I wanted to come back was they’re talented, they’re really talented,” Polamalu said. “I think it’s an exciting time to be a Steeler. I do know one thing is that (sheer) talent doesn’t win Super Bowls. There has to be another component there. I do think the team next year can be really successful. How successful only time will tell.”

Polamalu will go down as one the great Steelers. Unfortunately some of those seasons were filled with injuries only playing a full season 6 of 12 years. The following accolades will almost certainly give him the needed support for the hall of fame. Was he the greatest safety of our generation?

  • 12 seasons
  • 8 pro bowls
  • 4 1st team all pros
  • 3 Superbowl appearances
  • 2 Superbowl victories
  • 5 division titles