Steelers' Cameron Heyward sheds light on his decision to skip OTAs

Heyward is seeking a contract extension from Pittsburgh.
Cameron Heyward (97) of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs out of the tunnel after being introduced prior
Cameron Heyward (97) of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs out of the tunnel after being introduced prior / Michael Longo/For USA Today Network /

Cameron Heyward has played his entire career as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he doesn't want that to change. But, he's also seeking a contract extension from the franchise, and he's willing to stand on business about it. Heyward, the NFL's reigning Walter Peyton Man of the Year, has one year remaining on his current contract.

In an effort to receive that extension, Heyward has decided to skip Pittsburgh's voluntary organized offseason team activities for the first time in his career, and he recently shed some light on that decision.

It's about business for Heyward

"I have always attended these, but at this time, it's just contract negotiations," Heyward said of the situation. "Ya know, I want to be a Pittsburgh Steeler, but we'll see what happens."

Heyward, 35, made it clear that he's still working out and keeping himself in football shape even though he's keeping himself away from the team for the time being.

"First of all, it's voluntary, let's get that straight," Heyward said of OTAs. "I'm working out, I'm doing everything but [going to OTAs].

"You gotta do what's right for you," he added. "I'm training hard. It's nothing I'm not doing on and off the field. I'm doing everything possible. We'll get there when we get there."

Given how important Heyward has been to the Steelers over the past decade-plus, it seems likely that the two sides will eventually agree on an extension. Heyward has been a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro player as a member of the Steelers, and he's served as a defensive team captain for the past nine seasons.

Heyward was limited to just 11 games last season because of a groin injury, but he has been extremely durable over the course of his career, and he certainly looks like he still has some gas left in the tank. His future with the franchise will be a storyline to keep an eye on as the offseason progresses.