We kinda saw it coming. Doesn’t make it any easier to hear.
Former Defensive Player of the Year – and future Hall of Famer – Troy Polamalu has reportedly told the Pittsburgh Steelers he intends to retire. Thus ends perhaps the biggest ongoing storyline of this tumultuous off-season. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion Troy wouldn’t be back next season, how that came about was the question. I’ll post a more proper farewell to one of the all-time greats to wear the Black and Gold once the team schedules a formal send-off but in the meantime here are just a few quick thoughts.
Strange as it sounds, I’m glad Troy is retiring. He’s coming off his worst season as a pro having intercepted no passes and registering zero sacks for the first time in his career. It’s clear his skills had diminished to the point the most damning thing I can say is there was little to no drop-off in the defense when Will Allen took his place. He had a brief resurgence during the first half of 2013, since then he’s been either injured or a shadow of his former self. It’d be sad to see him muddle through one last year playing for the Titans or Cardinals.
There is no doubt this was the ideal scenario as far as the Steelers were concerned. Troy was due a $6 million pay day on June 1st which the team had no intention of picking up. At the same time, they wanted to avoid the clumsy way Hines Ward ended his storied career, being released then sheepishly returning to declare his retirement after no other team would have him. This way Polamalu goes out like he was meant to, on his own terms and as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I’ll have more to say soon but for now I’ll leave it with a simple thank you, Troy.