“We have informed Brett Keisel that we plan to release him today,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said in the release. “We have had conversations with Brett over the past couple of weeks during which we communicated our intentions to him. Brett has played a major role in our success during his 13 years in Pittsburgh. We appreciate his efforts and we are grateful for what he helped us accomplish, including two Super Bowl Championships. We will always consider him an all-time Pittsburgh Steeler.”
Keisel played 13 seasons for the Pittsburgh after being selected in the seventh round of the 2002 draft. He saw time in 156 games with 114 starts during the regular season, and he played in 16 games with eight starts during the postseason. His career regular-season totals include 30.0 sacks, 36 pass breakups, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one of which was returned 79 yards for a touchdown. Keisel is just one of 12 players in team history to record at least 30 sacks during the regular season and became a massive fan favorite during his time on the Steelers’ defensive line.
Keisel suffered a triceps injury in late November against the Saints, ending his season prematurely. The 36-year-old (37 in September) was in limbo for much of last offseason. The Steelers showed little to no interest in him for much of the offseason and only gave him a call when Darnell Dockett went down with a season-ending ACL injury.
Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) ranked him as just the 36th-best 3-4 end out of 45 qualifiers in 2013 and he ranked 30th out of 48 eligible 3-4 bookends in 2014.