Pittsburgh Steelers release veteran defensive lineman Brett Keisel, sign linebacker Arthur Moats

March 9, 2015

Entering the offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers were expected to infuse some more youth into their defense, and today the franchise began that retooling process, announcing that it had released veteran defensive end Brett Keisel, a longtime stalwart of their defensive unit.

“We have informed Brett Keisel that we plan to release him today,” Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said. “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, recognizable for his long trademark bushy beard and no-nonsense approach, played 13 seasons for the team (2002-2014) after originally being selected in the seventh round (242nd overall pick) of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He saw action in 156 games with 114 starts during the regular season, and he played in 16 games with eight starts during the postseason.

His season was cut short last year when he suffered a tricep injury and was placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured List on December 1, 2014.  Keisel saw action in 12 games with four starts in 2014.

His career regular-season totals include 30 sacks, 36 pass breakups, seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and two interceptions, one of which was returned 79 yards for a touchdown. Keisel also excelled on special teams early in his career, recording 33 tackles and two fumble recoveries in the regular season. His postseason numbers include 3 sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

Keisel is just one of 12 players in team history to record at least 30 sacks during the regular season (since sacks became an official statistic in 1982). His 36 career pass breakups were the third-most among active defensive ends at the conclusion of the 2014 regular season.

Keisel is a two-time Super Bowl Champion (XL and XLIII), and he was named the Steelers’ Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2011 for his efforts on and off the field. He was also named to his first Pro Bowl after the 2010 season and was named an alternate after the 2011 season.

Steelers sign LB Arthur Moats

In other team news, the Steelers have agreed to terms with linebacker Arthur Moats on a three-year contract.

Moats saw action in each of the team’s 16 regular-season games (10 starts) and lone postseason contest in 2014. He set a single season career-high with four sacks while contributing 23 tackles (17 solo), six quarterback hits, four tackles for losses, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Since entering the NFL as a sixth round (178th overall) draft choice of the Buffalo Bills in 2010, Moats has totaled 132 tackles (75 solo), nine sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 75 games with 30 starts. He joined the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent in 2014, after spending his first four years in Buffalo.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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