Watt has been in a holdout with the Steelers leading up to the 2021 season. He hadn’t practiced at all during the preseason until Wednesday’s practice. There’s a reason why he finally suited up.
Watt and the Steelers have reached an agreement on an extension, per NFL insider Ian Rapoport. The deal will make him the highest paid defensive player in football. Watt has inked a four-year extension worth more than $112 million. He’ll earn on average $28.003 million per year.
The holdout’s over. Watt will suit up for the Steelers in their season opener this weekend.
“Sources: The #Steelers and star pass-rusher TJ Watt have a mega-deal,” Rapoport reported via Twitter. “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.”
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
T.J. Watt had support from practically everyone within the Steelers’ organization during his holdout.
Even Ben Roethlisberger said earlier this year that Pittsburgh should pay Watt “whatever he wants.”
“One of the reasons I took less money was for guys like him to get paid, and he needs to get paid,” Big Ben said of Watt, via ESPN.com. “He deserves every penny that he wants and asks for. T.J. Watt is that guy that should get whatever he wants.”
Watt and the Steelers can finally put the negotiations behind them and focus on football.
Pittsburgh begins the 2021 season this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.