In an exclusive interview last week with Behind The Steel Curtain, Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner opened up about a variety of topics pertaining to his NFL career and things going on with the Pittsburgh Steelers. When asked about signing a one-year contract this past offseason, Banner explained why he chose to only go the route of a single-year deal.
“I think it’s just one of those situations,” Banner stated. “My agent worded it in a very, very powerful way. We’re betting on ourselves.”
With the opportunity to earn a starting job for the 2020 season, Banner is hoping his play on the field could allow him to cash in on a more lucrative contract in a more timely manner. Although there is security in signing a deal for more than one season, believing he will earn a larger salary based on his continued improvement is a risk Banner is willing to take.
Banner went on to discuss more about the logic behind a one-year contract.
“The bottom line is with the Steelers organization, I appreciated the opportunity to possibly sign a couple year deal. But then when you look at it from a strategical standpoint—a strategy standpoint—what if I balled out this year, you know what I mean? What if? That’s the question in the air.”
While hoping he has a stellar 2020 season, Banner could also find himself without a safety net should he be dealing with injury or other issues in the upcoming season. Instead of focusing on the negatives, Banner is choosing to look at the positives of being a free agent following the upcoming season.
“We’re betting on ourselves to have a really, really good year,” Banner continued. “A lot of guys get scared. They think about things that you can’t control like injury and stuff like that. It’s not dissing that. I’m not disrespecting that. I’m not saying that’s the bad route to go. But sometimes if you do that, then you set yourself up for failure later and you have regret. So there will be zero regrets.”
Another issue Banner will be facing is the Pittsburgh Steelers constantly being up against the NFL salary cap. In order to have the biggest payday, Banner may have to hit the free-agent market. But when it comes to where he would prefer to play, Zach still wants to continue to be a part of the Steelers organization.
“The bottom line is I do want to be here in Pittsburgh,” Banner confessed. “I’m really happy that we got it figured out here in Pittsburgh. And more and more opportunities are being given every day. So I’m really, really excited.”
It will be interesting to see how the 2020 season pays off for Banner come the beginning of the next league year. But until then, hopefully Banner can supply some quality play to help lead the Steelers deep into the 2020 playoffs.
The full interview with Zach Banner, in either audio or video form, is available HERE.