It was the news almost every Steelers fan has been waiting for the entire offseason. On Thursday afternoon, it was widely reported that T.J. Watt and Pittsburgh Steelers had agreed upon a deal to keep him in Pittsburgh through 2025.
Whether the deal is a four year extension of his current contract or a new five-year deal isn’t overly significant other than if the numbers would make him the highest payed defensive player in the NFL. But the reported $80 million in guaranteed money sets a new Steelers record regardless of position.
Of course, there may be fans who don’t like the financials of this deal when it all gets reported. But the story that has been reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter as to how the deal came about is one Steelers fans can definitely fall in love with.
Steelers’ OLB T.J. Watt overruled his agents who believed they could get more money today, marched into the office of Steelers president Art Rooney and told him they had a deal. Then the NFL’s new highest-paid defensive player excused himself and announced he had to go work out.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 9, 2021
According to Schefter, T.J. Watt took things into his own hands. It appears Watt had enough negotiating and was happy with the deal the Steelers had presented. Overriding his agents and going straight to Mr. Rooney himself, Watt agreed to the deal before getting back to his work out.
Based on this report, the T.J. Watt contract negotiation went almost the polar opposite of that with running back Le’Veon Bell back in 2017 when he was negotiating his contract the first season he was given the franchise tag. According to reports at the time, Bell’s agent had agreed to a contract the Steelers presented only for Bell to override what was presented to him and ultimately turn the deal down.
For Steelers fans just hoping to keep T.J. Watt in the black and gold for as long as possible, this report only fires them up even more in support of the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year finalist. Hearing that the agents were still looking for more, Watt stepped in to do what he ultimately wanted.
Now that the deal has been agreed to in principle, all that’s left is putting pen to paper and putting all of these contract talks with Watt behind us… until 2024. All that’s left now is for Watt to continue his high end production on the football field.
As for Steelers fans who were fretting over contracts, they now get multiple months of reprieve until the Minkah Fitzpatrick negotiations kick in following the 2021 season. Yes, it’s out there, but let’s sit back and enjoy this season of Steelers football while we have the chance.