Steelers’ Cameron Heyward Open To 2025 Free Agent Departure

It has become clear this offseason that Cameron Heyward is seeking a new deal from the Steelers. If an extension agreement is not reached, he could enter the 2025 offseason as a free agent.

Heyward is due a $16MM base salary this season, the final year of his $65.5MM 2020 contract. The reigning Walter Payton Man of the Year winner has spent his entire 13-year career in Pittsburgh, and he hopes to remain with the Steelers for years to come. No hometown discount should be expected, though, which leaves open the possibility of an agreement not being reached in time for the start of the season.

In that case, the 35-year-old would play out the 2024 campaign as a walk year. His latest comments on his future confirm he is immediately focused on the coming season, one which will be critical in establishing his value. Heyward saw his production drop in an injury-shortened 2023 slate, and multiple core muscle surgeries have taken place aimed at providing the opportunity for a rebound. A strong showing this year would help boost Heyward’s stock on a new Steelers accord or one sending him elsewhere.

“I have talked to my wife, and we know the reality, and we have had those talks, and she said it could be fun to play somewhere else,” the three-time All-Pro said, via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (subscription required). If that is what is needed to be done, then so be it. But I am still enjoying the ride here this year.”

Heyward is seeking a two-year extension, something which would greatly strengthen his chances of playing out his full NFL tenure as a Steeler. That could, of course, still wind up being the case. His comment certainly points to an openness to exploring the market, though, meaning the progress of negotiations during the summer will be an interesting storyline to follow.

Pittsburgh has a mix of veterans (Larry Ogunjobi, Montravius Adams, Dean Lowry) and recent draft additions (DeMarvin Leal, Keeanu Benton, Logan Lee) along the defensive interior. Heyward will have a large role to play once again in 2024 as the leader of that group, but whether or not that will double as his final Pittsburgh campaign remains to be seen.

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