The Steelers decided not to re-sign Keisel in the offseason after the 35-year-old from BYU finished with four sacks in 12 games in 2013. Pittsburgh drafted Stephon Tuitt in the second round and signed Cam Thomas as a free agent as part of a youth movement along an aging defense.
While Tuitt has been solid during preseason, Thomas has yet to make an impact.
Keisel, who turns 36 on Sept. 19, was effective when healthy last season. But with the team up against the salary cap he wasn't going to command anywhere near the $4.9 million cap number he received last year. Keisel became a fan favorite later in his career, growing a beard each year then shaving it off when the season was over for charity.
Browns continueQB competition
Cleveland first-year coach Mike Pettine still hasn't chosen his Week 1 starting quarterback, and that's not his fault. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel haven't convinced him or anyone, really that they deserve the job.
Pettine had been expected to announce during a teleconference on Tuesday whether Hoyer, the inexperienced veteran and hometown hero coming back from knee surgery, or Manziel, the hyped rookie and former Heisman Trophy winner, would start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh. But the decision has been delayed and it could carry through Cleveland's third preseason game on Saturday. Pettine's choice grew much tougher after Hoyer and Manziel both played poorly in a 24-23 exhibition loss at Washington on Monday night.
Hoyer started and missed wide-open receivers and appeared to be buckling under the pressure of not being able to put an end to his competition with Manziel.
Hoyer finished 2 of 6 for 16 yards, hardly the numbers he needed to solidify starting.
"It was embarrassing," Hoyer said.
Manziel's most memorable moment may have been when he made an obscene gesture toward Washington's sideline, an act Pettine called "extremely disappointing" and will likely result in a fine from the NFL.
Manziel completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards and one touchdown, which came against Washington's backups.
Practice squads expand to 10 players
NFL teams can carry 10 players on their practice squads for the next two seasons. The league and the players' union agreed Tuesday to increase the number of practice squad members from eight to 10.
Around the league
Chiefs • Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles was still held out of Chiefs practice Tuesday after hurting his foot in an accident while moving out of the dorms last week at Missouri Western. Charles did not make the trip to Carolina for Sunday's preseason game.
Broncos • Running back Montee Ball returned to practice, participating in individual drills in his first on-field workout since undergoing an appendectomy Aug. 4.
Vikings • Former Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe said Tuesday he reached a settlement with the team to avert a threatened lawsuit over his release, saying the club had agreed to donate to several groups that support gay rights. Kluwe had accused the Vikings of cutting him in 2013 over his outspoken support for gay marriage. Financial details of the settlement weren't immediately released, but Kluwe said he would get no money.