The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a new era of Steelers football in a lot of ways. The first year without Ben Roethlisberger since 2004, but also the start of the Omar Khan era. No one knew just how Khan would handle his business, especially as it pertains to the handling of contracts. In his introductory press conference, all he said was the principle of not negotiating contracts during the season would remain.
Well, consider Khan’s first big deal done after the team and All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick agreed to a 4-year extension worth over $18.4 million per year, and $36 million guaranteed at the time of signing.
This per Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Steelers and All-Pro S Minkah Fitzpatrick reached agreement on a massive four-year contract extension worth over $18.4 million per year, with $36M gtd at signing, per source. The deal, negotiated and confirmed by @WME_Sports, makes Fitzpatrick the highest paid S in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/Rnb0jJWGoM— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 15, 2022
The move not only keeps Fitzpatrick wearing a black and gold uniform for the next five seasons, considering this is an extension of his 5th year option the team picked up this offseason, but will also likely decrease his previous salary cap hit for the 2022 season of $10.612 million.
In three seasons since joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3 of the 2019 season, Minkah Fitzpatrick has started 46 regular season games as well as the Steelers two playoff contests. The only game Fitzpatrick missed in his time with the Steelers was Week 11 of this past season due to being on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. With the Steelers, Fitzpatrick has 11 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, four fumble recoveries with one returned for a touchdown, over 200 tackles, and 27 passes defensed. Fitzpatrick was also selected to the Pro Bowl as well as being First Team All-Pro in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, Fitzpatrick led the Steelers in tackles with 124.
As for contract negotiations, Fitzpatrick wasn’t the only player on the Steelers’ roster who is hoping to get a new contract before the start of the season. Diontae Johnson, although still with one year left on his rookie contract, is seeing the stock of wide receivers sky rocket. He would like to get it on some of that money while he still can. Other than Johnson, kicker Chris Boswell is entering the final year of his deal, and has proven his worth more than enough times to earn himself a new contract.
With Fitzpatrick, who was clearly the Steelers’ priority this offseason, done, the team now will look to make any other moves, including potentially bringing in an outside free agent at a key position.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest updates on this contract as they become available, as well as news surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the offseason prior to training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA on July 26th.
The extension was made official by the Steelers as of 12:25pm ET.
We have signed S Minkah Fitzpatrick to a new five-year contract. @BordasLaw— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 15, 2022
For more on the signing of Minkah Fitzpatrick, check out BTSC’s breaking news podcast: