T.J. Watt is under contract for this season, but is not a full participant at Steelers training-camp practices. Watt is refusing to totally engage until he gets a contract extension.
Watt wants $28-30 million on average annual value. That would make him the highest-paid edge rusher in NFL history.
If I’m the Steelers, I won’t pay that. An edge rusher doesn’t impact the game consistently enough to get quarterback money.
QB Ben Roethlisberger makes $14 million. Should Watt make twice as much?
DE Cam Heyward makes $10.5 million. Is Watt worth $17.5 million more?
S Minkah Fitzpatrick makes $2.7 million this year and is due a new contract after the 2022 season. Fitzpatrick has been first-team All-Pro each of the past two seasons, just like Watt. If Watt gets the most money ever at his position, what will Fitzpatrick want?
If I’m the Steelers, I make Watt play out his contract this season, then franchise him for $17 million next year.
But Watt wouldn’t like that. He might not play.
Watt's desire to be the highest-paid edge rusher in NFL history won't matter to the Steelers. They don't take into account what other teams pay players. The Steelers barely negotiate. They assign a value to a player, and that's it.
To read more on Watt’s situation, click HERE.