As the NFL offseason presses on for 30 NFL franchises, fans have started to turn their attention to the NFL Draft and/or NFL Free Agency. But the over-arching fact for teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers is they need to first look at their own free agents and if they want to bring them back, or let them test the free agent waters.
Steelers fans know the team’s public policy when it comes to contracts. No negotiations will take place until there is one year left on the player’s current deal. The only exception to this rule is at the quarterback position.
With that said, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward is a player who could have a new contract in place by the time training camp rolls around this summer. In fact, Heyward is hoping that is exactly what happens throughout the course of the offseason.
“June or July, but if we can get something done earlier, I would love it,” Heyward said, via Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com. “They’ve done right by me so far, and I want to continue to do them right. That’s what I love about Pittsburgh — you have to earn your way. If I play well and they show me love, I want to show love back. I want to make sure as them being my employer and them being my family, you always want to make sure that you represent your family well.”
There is no doubt Heyward should be a priority for the Steelers. Not only is he a team captain and leader on the defense, he has been performing at a ridiculous rate the past few seasons. Heyward was named a first-team All-Pro for the second time in three years and he’s recorded 29 sacks over the last three seasons. At this rate, there is little doubt on whether Heyward has 3-4 more productive years left.
Heyward, a first round pick out of Ohio State, has been everything fans could want, and more, since coming to Pittsburgh. Giving him a new contract will lock up Heyward for the long term, and solidify the defensive line with Stephon Tuitt for years to come.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for free agency, the NFL Draft and the 2020 regular season.