After a slight false start yesterday when the reporting of the option for the Saints' Cam Jordan was confused for Cam Heyward, the forgone conclusion that the Steelers would exercise their option on Heyward for a fifth season finally became a reality today. As has been reported on the NFL.com tracker and on twitter by Steelers PR executive Burt Lauten among others, that clause had been optioned:
Given his position with the Steelers it is safe to say Mr Lauten will know the right name when reporting this news. As discussed already on this site in the last week it was a decision that was more than expected especially given the breakout season Heyward had last year. This move guarantees he will be with the Steelers at least through 2015 and gives them the ability to focus on other players in the last year of their contract this year along with the time to work out a long term deal with Heyward.
The price tag of this 5th-year option - $6.969 million - was confirmed a few days ago when it was picked up on some of the other 2011 defensive end draft picks, like JJ Watt.