Watt is seeking an extension that’ll make him one of, if not the, highest-paid defensive player in the league. That makes sense considering he had 53 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2020.
Even though Watt has been at the Steelers’ facility this offseason, he hasn’t been participating in certain drills because he’s trying to avoid a potential injury.
At this point, it’s unknown if Watt will sit out the Steelers’ season opener. If he’s missing practices to avoid injury, it wouldn’t make much sense to actually play on Sundays.
In the event that Watt’s plan works to perfection and he receives a new deal, he still might have to miss Week 1 of the season.
“At this point, even if he signs a contract, I don’t know if he plays a full game in Week 1,” Ed Bouchette said. “He’s in cardio shape, he knows the defense. It’s just not being in football shape.”
Steelers insider @EdBouchette with us on TJ Watt:
"At this point, even if he signs a contract, I don't know if he plays a full game in Week 1. He's in cardio shape, he knows the defense. It's just not being in football shape."
— The Fan Morning Show (@FanMorningShow) September 7, 2021
Steelers fans, however, are hopeful that Watt’s holdout will come to an end and he’ll be on the field against the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.
“TJ Watt practice situation isn’t a normal one. He’s still there and doing drills. It isn’t the same as an injured player not practicing,” SteelerNation said. “So who knows, maybe they intend to play him on Sunday regardless. If gets mandated fines by league if he doesn’t play.”
#Steelers TJ Watt practice situation isn't a normal one. He's still there and doing drills. It isn't the same as an injured player not practicing. So who knows, maybe they intend to play him on Sunday regardless. 🤷♂️ If gets mandated fines by league if he doesn't play.
— SteelerNation (@SteeIerNation) September 7, 2021
The fan base in Pittsburgh is trying to stay optimistic, but it’s pretty apparent that no one really knows how this situation will play out.
TJ Watt will sign. If TJ Watt doesn’t sign, TJ Watt will still play. TJ Watt is under contract yet. Yinz worry too much. Let this shit sort itself out. We got a game in 5 days.
— Kevin Adams (@KevinAdams26) September 7, 2021
If the Steelers are without Watt for Week 1, they’ll need the rest of their defensive line to step up.
Do you think Watt will land a new contract before the Steelers’ season opener?