4 Steelers who must prove their worth to earn new contracts this year

Most players heading into the season with expiring contracts will need to show the Pittsburgh Steelers their worth.
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

According to Spotrac's website, the Steelers have 24 players on their roster on expiring contracts after this season.

That is a large number, but some of them could earn extensions between now and the conclusion of the training camp. Some might be in a good position with the team, while others still have to earn their new deal. Things could get ugly in negotiations between the player and the organization until a possible new deal is struck. It might need a player to prove his worth to get a contract done.

Most players scheduled to be a free agent after this season will have to earn their way to a new contract.

Najee Harris

Things don't look promising when you look at the potential future between Najee Harris and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

They declined his fifth-year option, which normally means the player will be gone from the team after the year concludes. Omar Khan has said the Steelers are willing to consider an extension with Harris, but it makes little sense after the team declined a reasonable fifth-year option. Unless Harris takes something for less than his original option amount, it is unlikely he will be back.

If Harris can have a monster year and become a top leader in the running back position, then maybe a new contract could keep him in Pittsburgh.

Donte Jackson

Cornerback could become a big problem this season unless Donte Jackson proves to be a viable option.

Many have come to question Jackson and if he will be able to hold up his side at outside cornerback opposite of Joey Porter Jr. Only time will tell, and it could result in a potential contract extension with Jackson if he can play a decent brand of football. If he can be a reliable veteran player, then he could get extended by Pittsburgh after the season.

Russell Wilson

No other position has been talked about more with the Steelers than at quarterback. We will see how things play out, but more pressure is on Russell Wilson to perform to a new contract than Justin Fields. Even if Fields plays some football this year and struggles, he could still earn a cheap extension to have a young, experienced arm on the team next year.

Wilson needs to prove himself as a starter in the NFL again. He has little room for error.

If Wilson can elevate the Steeler's quarterback play to an above-average level and upgrade their offense, then he could be in line for an extension that carries over a couple of years.

Cam Heyward

Will the Steelers and Cam Heyward be able to come to a resolution on their contract negotiations?

It has gotten tense between Pittsburgh and their legendary defensive player. Heyward has been outspoken about his frustrations about getting a new contract accomplished. The Steelers seem to prefer to wait until after this season concludes to discuss a new deal, but Heyward wants one now or might walk come free agency next year.

Ideally, the Steelers allow Heyward to prove he is worth the extension after recent years of injury. We don't live in a perfect reality, so expect both Heyward and Pittsburgh to come to a deal before training camp closes.

Steelers will shell out the big bucks if their starting QB balls out. Steelers will shell out the big bucks if their starting QB balls out. dark. Next