Thursday night Cam Heyward tweeted, "I love this organization!" The feeling is mutual. The Steelers love Cam. They love him enough to have offered him a $59.25 million extension. This makes him the fifth highest paid 3-4 defensive end in the NFL.
At his position, only J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints, Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals and Corey Liuget of the San Diego Chargers have bigger deals than Heyward. J.J. Watt, the league's best defender, is working under a six-year, $100 million extension, a figure that was recently eclipsed by Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston who just signed a six-year, $101 million contract.
Heyward's deal is good news for a defense-in-decline and ensures that a man of experience and productivity-- 106 tackles, 15 sacks, and 12 defended passes in four seasons-- will be around for years to come. With several key veterans gone, and a new defensive coordinator, Keith Butler, at the helm, Heyward will play an important role in restoring the Steelers defense to its former glory.
On the Steelers roster, Heyward is the second-highest paid player. QB Ben Roethlisberger is the highest paid member of the Steelers.