4 reasons Steelers may not re-sign T.J. Watt to a second contract
By Andrew Falce
There should be little debate as to where Watt’s final price should come in at. Given the high demand for pass rushers and his obvious talent, Watt will likely get a contract that makes him the highest-paid defensive player in the league. He has easily earned such a contract despite the monster cap hit it may end up giving him.
No, the Steelers won’t get him on a cheap deal or on the “hometown discount”, as they will be forced to pay him market value. That said, the Steelers have an older and less desirable way of structuring their contracts for players. Typically, the only money they guarantee is the signing bonus which usually equates to the average annual salary. For example, when the Steelers inked Cameron Heyward to his extension last offseason, His only guaranteed money was the 17.5 million he made was in the signing bonus. That compares to what he averages per year on said deal (16.4 million).
Compare this to other contracts that are given a heavy number of guarantees and Watt may look elsewhere for his next deal. This may sound eerily similar to what happened with Le’Veon Bell a few years ago, and that’s because it is. Bell wanted more guaranteed money because it protects the player more. While Watt hasn’t struggled with injuries to this point, that doesn’t mean he is invincible.
Granted, if the Steelers were to change their contract structure for any player it should be for Watt. That doesn’t mean they will change it though. If the team remains stout with how they do deals, Watt may decide to get a deal from a different team. The Steelers do their deals extremely team-friendly, and that may not be how Watt wants his next deal to go.