Troy Polamalu's future uncertain

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II did not commit to bringing back strong safety Troy Polamalu in 2015 even if the eight-time Pro Bowler wants to return.

Rooney has said he wants Polamalu to retire as a Steeler, but the safety is coming off a season in which he did not record a sack or intercept a pass for the first time since 2007.

Polamalu, who will turn 34 in April, has two years left on his contract. He said after Pittsburgh's AFC wild-card loss to the Baltimore Ravens earlier this month that it is fair to question whether he has played his last game for the Steelers.

Polamalu and veterans such as outside linebacker James Harrison, defensive end Brett Keisel and cornerback Ike Taylor all face uncertain futures. Rooney said the team has not made any decision on the four, who were stalwarts on the teams that played in three Super Bowls from 2005 to 2010 and won two of them.

"We'll be having conversations internally," Rooney said Wednesday at Steelers headquarters. "We'll have conversations with each of those players and others about what they want to do and whether they'll fit into the plans for next year. There's a lot of discussions to be had in terms of the next few weeks and months."

The Steelers will also have more than a few conversations with Ryan Tollner, who is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's agent.

Roethlisberger is entering the final year of his contract, and Rooney reiterated that the Steelers plan on signing the 11th-year veteran to a long-term deal.

The Steelers have yet to engage in contract negotiations with Tollner, but Rooney said of getting a new deal done, "Sooner rather than later would be good, but it's hard to put a time frame on it. You never know how long some of these things can take."

Roethlisberger is coming off the best statistical season of his career.

He threw for 4,952 yards and became the first player in Steelers history to win at least a share of the NFL passing total. Roethlisberger, who tied Drew Brees of the Saints for the most passing yards in 2014, also set Steelers single-season records for completions (408) and completion percentage (67.1).

Roethlisberger's salary-cap hit in 2015 is $18.395 million. Signing him to a long-term deal would create cap room because the Steelers could spread the signing bonus over the length of what figures to be Roethlisberger's final NFL contract.

The Steelers also hope to re-sign outside linebacker Jason Worilds, who is their top free agent, and the team will also need cap room to sign free agents from other teams.

The free-agent signing period starts on March 10, and Rooney acknowledged that getting a new deal done with Roethlisberger before then would be "helpful" to the Steelers' offseason plans.

"But I'm not going to say that it's absolutely critical that it's done prior to that," Rooney said. "We'll get it done when both sides can come to a conclusion on it."