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SteeleIs President Art Rooney II Reacts To Departures Of Aaron Smith, James Farrior

Steelers president Art Rooney II speaks to Steelers.com about the releases of veterans Aaron Smith and James Farrior:

"Aaron has been a staple on our defense since he became a starter in 2000 and has helped us rank among the league’s top defenses ever since," Rooney said. "He has done so much for the Steelers on and off the field, and he has been one of our veteran leaders in our locker room. We appreciate everything that he has done for our team and the Pittsburgh community, and we will always hold him in high regard for helping us to so much success over his 13 years with the team."

Smith was drafted in 1999 and quickly became a staple at defensive end, where he was a top defensive performer until a string of injuries caused him to miss the majorities of the last three seasons.

"James was named one of our captains each of the past eight years and that speaks volumes to what he has meant to so many great defenses," Rooney added. "He has been a leader for our defense on the field and an ambassador for the Steelers in the community. We appreciate everything James has done and truly wish him nothing but the best."

Farrior joined the Steelers in 2002 after five years with the Jets. In 10 years with the Steelers, he missed only two games, and he ends his tenure with the Steelers with 1,428 tackles for his career.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.