— T.J. Watt’s Mega-Deal that makes him the NFL’s Highest Paid Defensive Player includes 4 years, $112 Million in new money with the first three years of the contract fully guaranteed — CONTRACT DETAILS *5 years, $122.1 Million *80 Million in Guaranteed Money, 2021-2023 Fully Guaranteed Yearly Cash: 2021 $36MM; 2022 $24MM; 2023 $20MM; 2024: $21.050MM; 2025: $21.050MM
— The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed linebacker T.J. Watt to a mega 5 year, $122.1 million contract that includes a franchise record $80 million in guaranteed money. The deal adds four years and $112 million in new money to Watt’s current one year contract, keeping him under contract through the 2025 season. The signing is a massive one in how the Steelers structure contracts as they have never structured a contract like this with the guaranteed money before. Sometimes you have to bend for the greats and the Steelers did in this instance dishing out QB type money to Watt with the total value and guarantees.
Ben Roethlisberger didn’t mince words today when discussing star linebacker T.J. Watt and his contract situation. Roethlisberger’s message to the Steelers was clear — ‘Pay the Man’ — “I think T.J. should get whatever the heck he wants,” said Roethlisberger. “He’s arguably the best football player in the game right now, not just on defense….Problem is when the higher-ups are in charge, there’s only so much you can do. We all feel bad for T.J…. Everbody knows how bad he wants to be out there.”
A few weeks after approaching the Pittsburgh Steelers about a contract extension, 32 year old cornerback Joe Haden now intends to test the free agent market in 2022, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Haden’s agent Drew Rosenhaus is quoted as telling Schefter “Joe has never been a UFA before and is excited about that opportunity. We expect him to have a very strong market,” said Rosenhaus. The belief is the Steelers were not interest in discussing an extension until after the 2021 season.
Pittsburgh kept 8 defensive lineman on the initial 53-man roster as Stephon Tuitt who has not practiced summer due to a knee injury, could start the season on injured reserve, according to the Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac. In a major drop off, Chris Wormley is expected to see a larger role opposite Cam Heyward at defensive end. Wormley, 27, has 3.5 career sacks in four NFL seasons
Ben Roethlisberger is taking the steps to set the narrative around him for the 2021 season in portraying himself as the ultimate teammate in what could be his final NFL season. According to Roethlisberger, the $5 million pay cut was all his idea. “It was my idea,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday, speaking publicly to reports. “I told them I want to help the team out however we can, and so I went to them and told them that I would do whatever I could to help the team sign the guys that are going to help us win football games. In order to do that, to get guys here, I felt that it was necessary to do that.”
RD 1: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama RD 2: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State RD 3: Kendrick Green, C, Illinois RD 4: Dan Moore Jr, OT, Texas A & M RD 4: Buddy Johnson, LB, Texas A & M RD 5: Isaiahh Loudermilk, DT, Wisconsin RD 6: Quincy Roche, LB, Miami RD 7: Tre Norwood, CB, Oklahoma RD 7: Pressley Harvin III, P, Georgia Tech
— The Pittsburgh Steelers this week inked Mason Rudolph to a one year extension that keeps him under contract through the 2022 season. The significance if any? He’ll receive a salary of $5 million in 2022 with incentives that could make the contract worth $9 million per season. Long, long way to go but there is a belief from Rudolph camp based on their conversations with the Steelers brass that the Steelers have all intentions of giving Rudolph a flier as the QB1 in 2022–