After making three straight Pro Bowls and leading the NFL in sacks last year, Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher T.J. Watt was hoping that his team would reward him with a contract extension. But they haven’t yet, and Watt appears intent on holding out until they do.
Reports emerged on Monday that Watt is holding out from practice ahead of Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills. Per ProFootballTalk, Watt doesn’t want to risk injury until he has a contract in place.
But while Watt is determined to get his new deal, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the tendency to be even more stubborn. Some have noted that the Steelers almost never give out contract extensions midseason.
Suffice it to say, if the Steelers don’t give Watt his extension by Sunday, he probably won’t get one until after the season. And that has a lot of Steelers fans nervous.
Waiting for this TJ Watt signing announcement pic.twitter.com/oWhx5XEO2E
— SteelerNation (@SteeIerNation) September 5, 2021
With the amount of salary cap tricks available to GM’s it would be embarrassing not to get a deal with TJ Watt done.
— Michael Beck (@MichaelBeck56) September 6, 2021
TJ Watt still hasn’t been extended and we are 6 days away from Week 1. pic.twitter.com/Rdx6XRzO6W
— Barstool Yinzers (@BarstoolBurgh) September 6, 2021
Good Morning @Steelers it's a great day to sign TJ Watt.
— Jordan York (@JordanYorkMusic) September 6, 2021
T.J. Watt has been a star pass rusher since going No. 30 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. In four seasons he has 49.5 sacks – 42.5 of which have come in the last three seasons.
Since 2018, Watt has made three Pro Bowls and is a three-time All-Pro selection.
Last year, Watt led the NFL in sacks (15.0) and tackles for loss (23), and was a top contender for Defensive Player of the Year.
The Steelers need to evolve. Get with the times. Give TJ Watt guaranteed $. He has a good chance to be great for another 10 years. Edge rushers can play for a long time. They changed team policy for Minkah. Dealt a 1st round pick. Pay the man!
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) September 6, 2021
The Steelers would be wise to give him his extension before he simply takes his ball and goes to free agency.