Pittsburgh Steelers fans are all very much aware of the T.J. Watt contract situation. With a big Week 1 match-up looming in Buffalo in four days, if Watt continues to not practice this week, he may not be available for the season opener. Earlier this week, head coach Mike Tomlin spoke on the elephant in the room in his weekly press conference:
“I remain optimistic that something is going to get done from a deal perspective,” he explained. “That aside, you know, I’m expecting him to work tomorrow [Wednesday]. I’m proceeding with the assumption that he’s going to work tomorrow. You know, that’s kind of the approach that I’m taking.”
It looks like Coach Tomlin is gearing up for Watt to play on Sunday.
Earlier on Wednesday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took his turn with the media before practice. In his presser, Roethlisberger voiced his support for Watt:
“I think he should get whatever the heck he wants. He’s arguably the best football player in the game right now; not just on defense, but in general. I’ve been through a couple of negotiations here with contracts. One of the reasons I took less money was for guys like him to get paid. And he needs to get paid; he deserves every penny he wants and asks for,” Roethlisberger said. “T.J. Watt is that guy who should get whatever he wants”, Roethlisberger proclaimed.
Roethlisberger went onto say that Watt attended every practice when he could’ve just sat out and that he continued to work hard and keep himself in shape. When a veteran team captain announces his support for a younger player amidst contact negotiations, that says a lot. When that veteran captain also adds that he took less money solely to allow the organization to pay that same player, that speaks volumes. It is clear that the team sees Watt has a major asset and rightfully so, and are eager to get him back in live action.
For reference, Watt will turn 27 years old on October 11th and is a 3x Pro Bowler and 2x All-Pro. Watt led the entire league in sacks in 2020 with 15, and has a total of 49.5 sacks since he was drafted in 2017. When Roethlisberger said Watt is the best player in football, he’s spot on. Further, when Roethlisberger said that Watt should get whatever he wants, I’m sure all of Steeler Nation agrees with that statement.
It is time to make Watt the highest paid defensive player in football and close this chapter once and for all.
When do you think Watt’s contract extension will be announced? How much do you think he should get paid? Let us know in the comments below!