Latest On Steelers’ T.J. Watt

Cameron Heyward has received plenty of attention this offseason with his Steelers future in doubt. A fellow mainstay along the team’s defensive front is T.J. Watt, who is under contract for two more years.

[RELATED: J.J. Watt Open To 2024 Steelers Deal]

The latter is playing out the four-year, $112MM extension he inked in 2021. That pact has proven to be a sound investment for Pittsburgh to date; Watt earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in his first season after inking the deal by matching Michael Strahan‘s single-season sack record. He has earned a pair of Pro Bowl invites and another first-team All-Pro nod since then. Entering his age-30 campaign, though, Watt is unsure of how much longer his career will last.

“I don’t know if I want to play forever, but who knows? It is too hard to say,” the former first-rounder said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (subscription required). J.J. [Watt] always said he didn’t want to play super long, then things happened and he ended up playing longer. I won’t know until that moment comes. I feel great right now, so I am kind of just living in the moment.”

The younger Watt brother was limited to 10 games in 2022 due to a torn pectoral muscle. He rebounded well last year, though, leading the league with 19 sacks. His career total in that regard sits at 96.5, and it will be expected to continue climbing as long as Watt remains healthy. The Wisconsin alum’s base salaries over the next two years are not guaranteed, and another year of strong production would help his leverage for a second monster extension depending on his long-term outlook.

As Kaboly notes, the Steelers will limit Watt’s reps in training camp with the goal of keeping him in peak health for the start of the regular season. Managing his offseason workload could become commonplace as the years go by with Pittsburgh (similar to many other teams) aiming to reduce wear and tear prior to the regular and postseason. Watt noted he has yet to win a postseason contest in his decorated career, and for at least the time being that will be his main focus.

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