Some veterans to play final game for Steelers

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm •  Published: December 28, 2012
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Foote asked out of Pittsburgh following the 2009 Super Bowl victory because he knew Lawrence Timmons was primed to take his starting right inside linebacker's job. Foote signed with his hometown Detroit Lions, who were coming off an 0-16 season.

A year later, the Lions cut him — and Foote was given a three-year deal from the Steelers. He gradually re-earned a starting job back for this season.

Foote is coming off a solid season in which he led the team in tackles. Also, the player presumably drafted this past April to replace him, Sean Spence, missed the season due to a knee injury.

"Hopefully I'm back, but you've got to approach it that way," Foote said. "Especially being long in the tooth as you say, all the older guys. That's just the nature of the game."

At 34, Harrison is an even older member of the Steelers' linebackers corps. Harrison had back and knee injuries that slowed him early this season, and he has only five sacks.

A former NFL defensive player of the year, Harrison has a projected salary-cap hit of more than $10 million next season. It's unlikely the Steelers would keep him at that number.

"Right now, I'm looking forward to finishing out, playing this game against the Browns and after that's done I'll get things together as far as looking forward to next year," Harrison said.

Mendenhall was similarly evasive when asked about his future on Friday. The former first-round pick has only 163 yards rushing in five games this season because of injury, deactivation and suspension. A pending unrestricted free agent, he is seemingly destined to be on his way out.

At 38, Batch is the NFL's oldest non-kicker, and the Steelers could elect to add some youth to the quarterback position.

It won't be age that keeps the Steelers from bringing Wallace back. Failure to come to an agreement on a new contract might, though.

Wallace held out through the entirety of Steelers' training camp in Latrobe, Pa., this summer before signing a one-year tender as a restricted free agent. He finished the year with fewer catches and receiving yards than he had in each of the previous two seasons and with a 13.1 yards-per-reception that is well below his career average.

"This year obviously didn't go exactly how I wanted it to go, but I'm happy with the start to my career and I feel like I'm on the right path to do some great things," Wallace said.

But will they take place in black-and-gold? Wallace paused when asked if he'd consider re-signing with Pittsburgh.

"I don't know. We'll see," he said. "But I've got big plans. No matter what the situation is I've definitely got big plans for myself and my family."

Like several other Steelers after a rare non-winning season, those plans just might not include Pittsburgh.

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