The Steelers will be moving on from Troy Polamalu this season. The team has expressed interest in him retiring so the team is not forced to release him. If the Steelers are forced to release him they would be faced with the indignity of cutting one of the team’s most iconic players. His agent, Marvin Demoff, recently spoke to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“Troy is still determining whether he wants to retire or try and play in 2015,”
“We will make a decision fairly soon, but (it is) not imminent.”
Hall of Fame runningback and Steelers legend Jerome Bettis also weighed in on the topic.
“This is nothing new, the Steelers asked Hines Ward the same thing,” Bettis said during an appearance on ESPN (via the Sporting News). “They asked (Ward) to retire. He wanted to play. He looked out and didn’t see many teams really looking at him. He decided to retire. I think this is a similar situation where they want him to retire because they don’t want to cut him. They want him to go out with the grace that he deserves as a football player.
“The bottom line comes down to whether Troy wants to continue to play. That’s when this becomes a really difficult situation. We haven’t heard from Troy yet, but I would assume that Troy still wants to give it a go.”
The obvious landing spot would be Tennessee if Polamalu decides to play. That would allow Troy to be reunited with his former defensive coordinator Dick LaBeau. Steelers free agent cornerback Ike Taylor said he wouldn’t be surprised if LeBeau’s players in Pittsburgh followed him to the Titans.
“The money doesn’t have to be spectacular, but if the money is right, I can tell you they are willing to go where Coach LeBeau is,” Taylor said. … “There is just a genuine, mutual respect that I have for that man, and other guys have it, too. I would come to Tennessee, but only because of Coach LeBeau.”
While Polamalu doesn’t have much left in the tank, it could provide some winning culture to a young Titans squad. The Titans do have a need at safety following the release of Bernard Pollard. It will be interesting to see how many former Steelers wind up in Nashville this offseason.