Casey Hampton, Max Starks, James Harrison and others have all been a huge part of the success in Pittsburgh over the last decade or more.
Unfortunately, they are all also getting on in years, and their skills are diminished.
It's never easy to say goodbye, but Pittsburgh needs to be willing to do that. Falling in love with the old guard again would be prohibitively expensive and dangerous to the team's long-term success.
Hampton is a free agent. Starks is as well. Larry Foote also is without a contract. Bringing any of those players back to Pittsburgh would fulfill some short-term needs, but at an expense that would injure the team's already tenuous salary-cap situation.
Harrison is contracted, but his salary is near-ridiculous when considering his lack of production last season and the injuries he has begun to pile up. Because of his late start on his career, it is easy to forget he's in his mid-30s now.
It may be better to simply bid farewell to Harrison and recoup the immediate relief to the salary cap, where the team will need to do a ton of cutting and restructuring just to get to the line. Getting below it will require some tough decisions.
Not making those decisions and instead pining for the days of old is among the biggest mistakes that Pittsburgh could make.