Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a look at the Steelers secondary and some of the offseason decisions they will be faced with in the next few weeks.
According to Fittipaldo, it appears likely that veteran S Troy Polamalu could be back next season, even though he is currently 33 years old and has a cap figure of $10.8 million in 2014.
Fittipaldo adds that based on comments from Steelers owner Art Rooney, it sounds like there is a good chance that Polamalu will finish out his career with the team.
Polamalu missed nine games during the 2012 season, but managed to return at a reasonably high level this past season. He totaled 69 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions — one of which was returned for a touchdown — five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Pittsburgh could free up $8 million by releasing him but, assuming that they do intend to keep him for the foreseeable future, a contract extension would probably make sense seeing as it would provide them some much needed cap relief.
As for Ryan Clark, Fittipaldo does not expect Pittsburgh to re-sign him this offseason.
Clark, 34, will be an unrestricted free agent and has said that he intends to continue his career in the NFL next season. He has only missed one game in the past three years and totaled 104 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Steelers in 2013.
Veteran players in their mid-thirties haven’t fared well on the open market in recent years, so it seems likely that he would have to sign a one-year deal.