TJ Watt, Steelers agree to record-breaking contract
The Pittsburgh Steelers have given their best defensive player a new contract ahead of the season, and they even broke their own unofficial rules to get the deal done.
Star pass-rusher T.J. Watt and the Steelers have agreed to a four-year extension that is worth roughly $112 million, according to multiple reports. The deal will pay Watt more than $28 million per year and make him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
As Ian Rapoport of NFL Media notes, the Steelers went against a long-standing company policy of only guaranteeing money in the first year of new deals.
The highest guaranteed for a defensive player and its the #Steelers who do it. The organization broke protocol to get their best defensive player signed. Just a massive deal. The $80M is fully guaranteed for skill, injury and cap. https://t.co/tdatr2Mv6P
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 9, 2021
Watt is guaranteed a total of $80 million.
For a while it looked like the Steelers were playing hardball with Watt, who led the NFL with 15 sacks last season. Ben Roethlisberger publicly put pressure on the organization to pay Watt this week, though we doubt that was a huge factor in negotiations.