Cameron Heyward's allegiance to Steelers under scrutiny after recent comments

Cam Heyward's recent comments prove that he is open to playing for a team other than the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2025.
NFL Pro Bowl
NFL Pro Bowl / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

If you are questioning where Cameron Heyward's allegiance lies, he will tell you straight up: he wants to be with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the rest of his career. The three-time First-Team All-Pro defensive lineman recently took to social media to express this view and to wish everyone a happy Father's Day.

However, other recent comments tell a different story.

Though he claims that he wants to stay in Pittsburgh, Heyward has made it clear that he's open to playing elsewhere. The Steelers star recently spoke to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic where his loyalty to The Steel City felt like anything but a lock.

"We will see what happens. But I can assure you this: I will be playing in 2025. I have talked to my wife, and we know the reality. We have had those talks, and she said it could be fun to play somewhere else. If that is what is needed to be done, then so be it."

Cam Heyward, via The Athletic

For those still holding out hope that Heyward is going to give the Steelers a hometown discount, don't hold your breath. The long-time defensive lineman is more than open to moving where the money takes him and, according to Hewyard, his wife Allie even said that it could be 'fun to play somewhere else'.

This doesn't sound like a player who is set on staying with the team that drafted him.

Heyward also acknowledged that he will be playing football in 2025 -- assuring NFL teams that he's not about to hang up his cleats after the 2024 season. Where does this leave him in contract talks with the Steelers?

Steelers can't make a poor financial move for the sake of nostalgia

Like every Steelers fan, I want Cameron Heyward to finish his NFL career where it all started. However, if keeping him in Pittsburgh comes at the cost of grossly overpaying for a 35-year-old defender who won't be part of the next Super Bowl roster, letting him walk after the 2024 season may be the right decision.

Heyward is still a beast as a run defender, but he's only a fraction of the pass rusher he used to be. This means that he's missing an entire essential element to his game. If he wants to be paid like one of the best interior defenders in the league, he needs to prove that he still has what it takes to get after the quarterback.

While raw numbers don't tell the whole story, Heyward recorded just 2.0 sacks and 3 QB hits in 11 games during the 2023 season. The veteran was fighting through a groin injury last year, but who's to say that at 35 years old he won't deal with ailments again in the final stages of his career?

It would sting to see Cam Heyward as a member of a rival team like the Cleveland Browns; there's no doubt. But when the sun sets on his NFL career, he still played 13 years in Pittsburgh and will retire as a member of the Steelers. Omar Khan and the front office can't let nostalgia get in the way of making a move that's in the best interest of the team moving forward.