3 reasons why Steelers made a great decision extending Alex Highsmith

  • Steelers defensive core is solidified for the future
  • This wasn't an overpay like some fans believe

Pittsburgh Steelers, Alex Highsmith
Pittsburgh Steelers, Alex Highsmith / Gaelen Morse/GettyImages
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The Steelers did not overpay

At $17 million per year, Alex Highsmith is tied for the tenth highest-paid edge rusher. That price may sound steep to some, but I feel Pittsburgh is paying an appropriate price tag given Highsmith's production and potential. Having not overpaid on this deal is another win for Steelers' GM Omar Khan. It's common in today's NFL for teams to overpay on marquee positions only to be disappointed down the road. This deal feels like the right amount for the right guy, who is arguably a top-ten pass rusher in the league.

If Highsmith can continue to produce at a Pro Bowl-worthy level this season, this time next year his contract numbers will look like a steal. As I previously mentioned, some big-time names are coming up for massive paydays in 2024, which will only drive Highsmith's 17 million per year average down the list of highest-paid edge rushers.

Could the Steelers have gotten a hometown discount and covered themselves in the future if their newly resigned pass rusher doesn't live up to the hype? That would have been ideal, but not entirely realistic. I am perfectly okay with the Steelers prioritizing their talent rather than letting it walk and taking an even larger risk in the draft. Omar Khan and his crew have not given fans reason to doubt his expertise just yet, so I like this move quite a bit.