The wait appears to be over for T.J. Watt to get the money most would agree he deserves. After an offseason of debate and negotiations, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Watt are reportedly agreeing on terms to sign a mega deal.
The news of this 4-year extension worth more than $112 million, $28 million dollar average per year and $80 million guaranteed contract was first reported by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Sources: The #Steelers and star pass-rusher TJ Watt have a mega-deal. He’s going to sign a 4-year extension worth more than $112M — $28.003M average per year — with $80M fully guaranteed at signing. The highest paid defensive player in football.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 9, 2021
Before fans get too excited, Adam Schefter of ESPN notes how the deal is not done just yet, but the two sides are extremely close to signing on the dotted line.
Steelers and T.J. Watt have made "significant progress" on an extension now expected to be completed in the next 24 hours, per source. The deal will make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. "It's getting done," per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 9, 2021
If this contract is signed, and the terms and conditions which have been provided are accurate, this would make Watt the highest paid defender in the NFL. Some fans might look at this reported deal and believe the team is paying too much for Watt’s services, but in a few years this deal might be viewed as a savings compared to his performance and other contracts being given out around the NFL.
This would be a huge burden lifted off the shoulders of Watt, the Steelers organization and the fan base prior to the team’s Week 1 game vs. the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Nonetheless, negotiations can break down at any time, so don’t celebrate prematurely until the ink has dried on the dotted line.
With news of Alex Highsmith missing practice Thursday with a groin injury, the Steelers will need to rely on Watt to play significant snaps with Melvin Ingram. Will Watt be in game shape after missing all of the preseason and any team drills throughout training camp? We’ll find out soon enough.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers as they prepare for the regular season, and more details emerge from this reported mega deal.
Check out the BTSC Breaking News podcast on the T.J. Watt deal: