Steelers Aiming For T.J. Watt Extension

No surprise here, but Steelers owner Art Rooney says he wants to keep T.J. Watt for the long haul (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Brooke Pryor). As it stands, the outside linebacker is scheduled to reach free agency after the 2021 season.

[RELATED: Steelers Release Steven Nelson]

We’re certainly going to try,” Rooney said. “We certainly look at T.J. as a key player in the future. I can assure you we’ll do everything we can to keep T.J. on our roster beyond this year. That’s the goal.”

The Steelers exercised Watt’s fifth-year option to give him a $10.089MM salary in 2021. Historically, the Steelers have made it a point to extend key players when they’re a year away from free agency (and, by the same token, they’ve done their best to avoid those talks when stars are two years out). The Steelers could get ahead of the game by locking up the Pro Bowler this summer.

Watt, 27 in October, is coming off of his second straight All-Pro season and third consecutive Pro Bowl nod. Last year, he led the league with 15 sacks to bring his career tally to 49.5. A new deal won’t come cheap, but he’s the type of player the Steelers can’t afford to lose. Assuming the 2022 salary cap bounces back towards its usual max, Rooney should be able to get a deal done.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “Steelers Aiming For T.J. Watt Extension

    • ElGaupo77

      Way overpaid… especially since edge rushers are a dime a dozen…but that’s the Steelers way. Overpay for the guys that get commercials.

      • forwhomjoshbelltolled

        When has that ever happened*?

        *With the notable exception of Jarvis Jones’ not giving the Steelers or Subway a penny of their money’s worth.

    • leefieux

      At the time, he wasn’t rated that highly. In fact, I can remember a few prominent draftniks panning the pick. One even called him a ‘tweener’.

  1. joester12

    I wanted my packers to take him at 28 in the draft but noooooooooo we traded out of the first round ‍♂️

  2. ElGaupo77

    He’s a good 3-4 olb. But the OLB in a 3-4 is always overhyped. Watt has two Pro-bowl DE’s in front of him and he gets the sacks. Bud depree was a better OLB just didn’t rush as much.

    I franchise him in ‘22 and let him walk in ‘23

    • beauner

      Would you say they have a plethora of OLBs? TJ Watt is one of the best edge players in the NFL. DEs in a 3-4 are next to the OLB not in front of them and it is not like he is just cleaning up after them TJ is rushing off the edge and causing a lot of pressure and sacks. Dupree will get to prove your point next year as he should get plenty of attempts to go after the QB next year.

      • ElGaupo77

        Don’t think Tennessee has nearly the front 7 the Steelers do.

        There are 8 players in this draft (both PSU guys, both Miami guys, kwity, boogie, ojulari, Peyton turner and Ronnie Perkins) that could replace him this year. 23 of top 150 in draft edge rushers. Could draft a lower guy and stash and develop him.

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