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Steelers’ Fitzpatrick and Watt Will Be A Force To Be Reckoned With For Years To Come

Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

Steelers’ Fitzpatrick and Watt Will Be A Force To Be Reckoned With For Years To Come

The news broke on Wednesday, June 15th that the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Pro Bowl safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick, to a new five-year contract worth $18.4 million per year. This makes Fitzpatrick the highest paid safety in NFL history and is the first big signing made by new general manager, Omar Khan, since being hired by the Steelers last month.

The last two off-seasons, Pittsburgh has made it clear that they are willing to commit a significant amount of money to the young stars on the defense and continue to make stability a priority on the defense. Last season, TJ Watt signed an extension for four years worth upwards of $112 million.

Early on in the 2019 season, Pittsburgh made a move that was out of character. They traded away high draft picks for a proven NFL starter. Pittsburgh acquired Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a first, fifth, and sixth-round draft choice. Fitzpatrick made an immediate impact once coming to the Steel City. He made his first Pro Bowl while recording 5 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries. His splash play ability and ballhawk skills have been consistent over his first three seasons in Pittsburgh and having him locked up for years to come will solidify the safety position and give Pittsburgh a consistent Pro Bowler in the secondary, which is something Pittsburgh hasn’t had since the Troy Polamalu days.

Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick

Photo credit via Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

The Steelers have their defensive cornerstone pieces locked up for years to come

Having both Watt and Fitzpatrick locked up helps Pittsburgh in many ways. Most obviously, they have both the best pass rusher and arguably the best safety in the NFL on defense. Along with that, it gives them a threat in multiple levels on the defense. There is an old saying that a stellar pass rush makes up for a poor secondary, and likewise a stellar secondary can make up for a poor pass rush. Although Watt and Fitzpatrick play completely different positions, they most definitely make an impact on each other on the field. Watt’s elusiveness and pass rushing abilities have caused many quarterbacks to hurry in decision making which not only helps Fitzpatrick, but the whole secondary.

TJ Watt Steelers

Photo credit via Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

The long-term deals for both Watt and Fitzpatrick speak volumes when it comes to what sets the Steelers apart from any other franchise in the NFL; stability. The Steelers have always had threats on the defensive side of the ball for as long as many Steeler fans can remember, and now having these two together for many years to come will continue that legacy. With a rising salary cap next season and the Steelers having another significant amount of money to spend, you can’t help but think that having Watt and Fitzpatrick would be an incredibly significant recruiting tool for other free agents around the league.

Regardless of what the future brings for this defense and team, Steeler fans need to appreciate the work this front office is putting in to have a winning team on the field year in and year out. Players like Watt and Fitzpatrick only come along every so often and many teams spend absurd amounts of money and draft capital to find players like them and the fact the Steelers have both of them on their defense for a significant amount of time is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

 

What do you think, Steeler Nation? Are you on board with the Steelers signing both Watt and Fitzpatrick to record breaking contracts? Who do you think is next to get signed to a long-term contract? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. James Little

    June 17, 2022 at 9:01 am

    D. Johnson next contact.

  2. bob

    June 18, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    naaaaa….. Boz is next

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