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End of an era in Pittsburgh

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07:19 AM ET 12.30 | Though San Diego ruined their playoff hopes, the Pittsburgh safety tandem of Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark went out with a win in 2013. [It's] not hard to guess that at least one of the veterans might not return for 2014. Plus, the Steelers coaches are high on Shamarko Thomas, even though the fourth-round pick from Syracuse started in just two games as a rookie in '13. ... [Polamalu] is due a base salary of $8.25 million and has a cap charge of nearly $10.9 million. Clark's base and cap charge are significantly less, $3.5 million and $4.8 million, respectively. Despite all the cap machinations Pittsburgh has been forced to make over the past few years, the Steelers have never requested that Polamalu consider a pay cut or even a restructuring. They may have to do so for 2014.

National Football Post

Troy Polamalu, Getty Images Troy Polamalu, Getty Images
December 30, 2013  07:56 AM ET

keep Polamalu, get rid of Clark

December 30, 2013  08:14 AM ET

Polamalu is the attitude on that team, when you let guys like that go it changes the entire defensive atmosphere, see Lewis and Ravens, Dawkins and Eagles......it is worth the money not to lose your identity. As a Dallas fan I would give quite a bit to have someone like that who sets the tone in every game.

December 30, 2013  08:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

keep Polamalu, get rid of Clark

Not that Ryan Clark has been good the past two years but he covered the pass much better then Polamalu this year-not well, but better.
Safeties need to be able to cover the pass. Troy's looking more like an OLB or a deep playing nickel(ouch) these days-tough for me to admit as a Steelers fan.
I'd love to see these guys finish in Black and Gold but we can't win with both.
I'd agree to get rid of Clark and I would add to ask Troy to take a pay cut-even though I know he won't.
Might be time to send Troy into the Rod Woodson shoes and to Oakland for a 3rd and 7th rounder. (Davis would do it-for a vet that can pretty much coach his D better then his coordinator).
Even though it'd save more money to keep Lamar Woodley on the roster I would try to trade him, cover 1/4 of his salary and hope for a 3rd round draft pick from either Detroit, Washington or Buffalo.
I was also high on the Steelers drafted Earl Thomas and Kenny Vaccaro over the past few years. Makes me cringe to think what kind of impact they could've had instead of Ziggy Hood and Willie Colon (or some other OG, might have been Pouncey they took-not sure if I'd drop him for either one but one would've been better then none this year and last).

December 30, 2013  08:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Polamalu is the attitude on that team, when you let guys like that go it changes the entire defensive atmosphere, see Lewis and Ravens, Dawkins and Eagles......it is worth the money not to lose your identity. As a Dallas fan I would give quite a bit to have someone like that who sets the tone in every game.

Ray could be covered though when he lost a step (Ed Reed, Terrel Suggs).
Dawkins was a beast for the Eagles but as a safety once he lost that step he became a liability in coverage and was to often found in the backfield on PA passes to try and do more for his team to show them he still had it.
Troy's big enough he could probably become an OLB, slowing down for him definitely puts him in LB talk and his Samoen blood promises him to get chunkier over the next few years but he's doing what Dawkins did and it showed in games against New England and Miami.

December 30, 2013  08:28 AM ET

Did San Diego ruin the playoff hopes of Pittsburgh or Kansas City ? San Diego needs a better game plan for the playoffs. If San Diego struggled with second stringers on a Wild Card team imagine the rude awakening when they play a division winner.

December 30, 2013  08:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Did San Diego ruin the playoff hopes of Pittsburgh or Kansas City ? San Diego needs a better game plan for the playoffs. If San Diego struggled with second stringers on a Wild Card team imagine the rude awakening when they play a division winner.

pretty sure that's why Succop barely missed that field goal.

December 30, 2013  09:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Troy's big enough he could probably become an OLB, slowing down for him definitely puts him in LB talk and his Samoen blood promises him to get chunkier over the next few years but he's doing what Dawkins did and it showed in games against New England and Miami.

This makes the most sense to me. Troy is a leader on defense and I think he still can contribute. Cutting him loose to rush like Harrison did is almost a scary thought.

December 30, 2013  09:17 AM ET

the Steelers have never requested that Polamalu consider a pay cut or even a restructuring

How about a trim?

December 30, 2013  09:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

This makes the most sense to me. Troy is a leader on defense and I think he still can contribute. Cutting him loose to rush like Harrison did is almost a scary thought.

I would look more towards a sub-in at MLB and OLB spots with a pay cut if it happens.
but yes, frightening indeed that kind of athleticism to jump over the center to sack a quarterback, pretty much forces shotgun which really only has the end around reverse and RB and QB draws as the run plays. Would definitely see some crazy defensive numbers if those are the majority of runs against the Steelers.

December 30, 2013  09:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

the Steelers have never requested that Polamalu consider a pay cut or even a restructuringHow about a trim?

Back when Dante Hall brought Polamalu down by the fro they asked him to tuck it in. Pretty sure they won the super bowl that year...
hmmm...

December 30, 2013  09:42 AM ET

Steelers were very unlucky. Not that they deserved to make the playoffs the way they played this year, but with A. Brown stepping out of bounds on game winning return in Miami and then K.C. missing game winning FG that would have put them in, they just didn't seem to get the breaks this year.

Comment #12 has been removed
December 30, 2013  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Did San Diego ruin the playoff hopes of Pittsburgh or Kansas City ? San Diego needs a better game plan for the playoffs. If San Diego struggled with second stringers on a Wild Card team imagine the rude awakening when they play a division winner.

They beat KC on Nov. 24th, beat the Broncos on Dec. 12th, and lost to them by 8 pts. on Nov. 10th. The Bengals are beatable and NE is hardly the team that it was. What's the issue?

December 30, 2013  10:08 AM ET

Watch out ladies, Roethlisberger is on the prowl early this year!

December 30, 2013  10:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Watch out ladies, Roethlisberger is on the prowl early this year!

Is that line still funny (if it ever was)?

December 30, 2013  11:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Steelers were very unlucky. Not that they deserved to make the playoffs the way they played this year, but with A. Brown stepping out of bounds on game winning return in Miami and then K.C. missing game winning FG that would have put them in, they just didn't seem to get the breaks this year.

Yes, they were. But that's what happens when you have to rely on other teams to lose. Too bad...I was looking forward to taking down the Bungles!

December 30, 2013  11:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Back when Dante Hall brought Polamalu down by the fro they asked him to tuck it in. Pretty sure they won the super bowl that year...hmmm...

It ain't 2008 anymore. The bell is tolling for Troy.

December 30, 2013  11:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

They beat KC on Nov. 24th, beat the Broncos on Dec. 12th, and lost to them by 8 pts. on Nov. 10th. The Bengals are beatable and NE is hardly the team that it was. What's the issue?

Steelers playing markedly improved ball with LeVeon Bell in the lineup (they were pathetic without him). They also got Heath Miller back too late in the season. Big Ben was putting up better than career average numbers, not saying they would have won it all or even gone to the Super Bowl but NFL fans got robbed when Succop missed that field goal as San Diego is notoriously bad in the playoffs and Sixburgh's well....SIXburgh.

December 30, 2013  11:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Is that line still funny (if it ever was)?

Yes, except for Steelers fans. Someone would have to crash a motorcycle without wearing a helmet to find it not funny.

 
December 30, 2013  11:52 AM ET

After their dismal start, you have to give the Steelers credit for still being alive for a playoff spot at 7PM on the last day of the regular season.

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