It has been common knowledge the past month the Pittsburgh Steelers want to keep Joe Haden in Pittsburgh for the next few seasons. Both sides have stated they are in talks on a new contract, but nothing has come to fruition yet.
Many are suggesting the Steelers should also look to extend some other players whose contracts will be expiring after the 2019 season. Mainly Javon Hargrave, Sean Davis and Bud Dupree. While this sounds to be a good plan, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic is reporting the Steelers are only focused on Haden, no one else, prior to the 2019 regular season starting.
“At least they’re trying to get a new deal done with Haden. For three other starters on defense in the same boat, there will be no contract extensions forthcoming. Tackle Javon Hargrave, safety Sean Davis and linebacker Bud Dupree all have only 2019 left on their contracts and would become unrestricted free agents next year if ones aren’t forthcoming. They do not plan to sign any of them to a new deal before this season. The Steelers will wait at least until after the season to try to sign any or all of that trio.” Bouchette writes
Is there progress on the front with Haden? Not really.
“We’re still working on it,” Haden said. “I’m still optimistic, but you know we still have until September 8th. It’s something I want to get done, for sure.”
There will be a contingent among the Steelers fan base who will be disappointed with this news, but the reality is the Steelers are smart to wait to re-sign those players not named Joe Haden.
For Dupree, he is earning over $9 million dollars in 2019. If he plays well the team will consider keeping him. If not, they can let him go. As for Davis and Hargrave, both entering the final year of their rookie contracts, it would be a poor business decision to give them new deals now when you have them under contract for cheap.
The Steelers were able to increase their salary cap space by over $3 million dollars when they re-structured Stephon Tuitt’s contract this offseason, and a new contract to Haden will only increase their cap space number. What will the team do with the money? Bring in a potential player for 2019, or let the space roll over to 2020, also when Antonio Brown’s cap hit will come off the books, and be able to pay some of these aforementioned players before the start of the new league year.
This is a situation where fans can sit back and trust the process, but also trust the Steelers organization to make the best decision for the team moving forward.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for Week 3 of the NFL Preseason.