Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt has become one of the league’s elite defenders.
In just four seasons, he’s a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro. Watt led the league with 15.0 sacks and 23 tackles for loss in 2020, while also registering 41 quarterback hits.
He’s entering the final season of his rookie contract, as the Steelers made the no-brainer decision to pick up his fifth-year option last spring. That means Watt is in line for a potential record contract extension.
But he’s keeping mum about it.
“With respect to the process, I’m not going to be talking about any contract stuff today,” Watt said during his Tuesday press conference, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.
Even if Watt isn’t talking about it, the fact that he’s present during Pittsburgh’s mandatory minicamp may say something about the state of negotiations. Watt might have decided to stay away if things were contentious, since the club can still wipe out fines for missing mandatory minicamp. With last year’s collective bargaining agreement, teams may not do the same with fines for missing days of training camp.
In 62 career games, Watt has 49.5 sacks, 59 tackles for loss, 111 quarterback hits, 17 forced fumbles, 25 passes defensed, and four interceptions. With his elite play, a lucrative new contract is not a matter of if, but when.