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80-Sack Veteran Skipping Workouts, Seeking New Contract

Here is 80-sack veteran and Pittsburgh Steeler defensive tackle, Cameron Heyward is skipping workouts and wants a new contract.
Heyward skipping workouts new contract

80-sack veteran and Pittsburgh Steeler Defensive tackle, Cameron Heyward is skipping voluntary workouts as he seeks a new contract. According to a source, the Ohio State product does not plan to OTA’s until he signs a new deal with the team. The veteran never missed an offseason program, so seeing how this one will play out is interesting. The 35-year-old was drafted at No. 31 overall in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, spending his entirety with the Steelers.

However, his current deal expires at the end of the 2024 campaign after missing out on making a Pro Bowl last season. Another source says that Heyward has plenty of gas left in the tank and wants to sign an extension. He was able to notch 404 tackles, 80.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles throughout his career. However, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Steelers are hesitating to re-sign the defensive lineman.

The Steelers are doing most of their homework for their offense. They were able to acquire Russell Wilson and Justin Fields to create some quarterback competition during this training. However, the drama could start on the defense if Heyward decides to hold out. Pittsburgh would probably be in a transitionary phase which the organization will likely be looking to get younger.

According to Spotrac, the veteran is expected to have a cap hit of $22.4 million. It’s hard to see if the Steelers will even consider extending him. Heyward wants to spend the rest of his career in Pittsburgh but if there’s a better deal elsewhere, he may request a trade. However, it’ll be interesting how this will play out this season similar to the Chris Jones situation.

80-Sack Veteran Cameron Heyward Skipping Workouts, Seeking New Contract

A Contract Extension Could Help

While most have their attention on the NFL schedule release, there is another thing on the list that the Steelers have to take care of. A holdout for Heyward could be a good thing for Pittsburgh in the short term. The Steelers could lower his cap hit this season while creating more money to extend him beyond the 2024 season. An extension makes sense for both sides since Heyward desires to stay where he is.

They wouldn’t have to worry about if he can return to All-Pro or Pro Bowl level. He recently had surgery this offseason and he’ll be ready to go when the season starts. However, the Steelers may be wary about giving him an extension since they would have already given him one. Most of the top free agents have already signed with other teams, including trading Diontae Johnson to Carolina this offseason.

So who’s to say they won’t do the same thing with Heyward? It was shocking that they traded Johnson and haven’t been able to find a starting receiver. It remains their biggest need but the defensive tackle could be the next one. Here are some potential team trade fits for Heyward.

Potential Trade Destinations

One team that needs a reliable veteran defensive tackle is the Dallas Cowboys. Justin Rodgers isn’t going to be a solid replacement for Johnathan Hankins so Heyward would be an immediate boost. There’s still a lot upside to his abilities and he could be the missing piece to the pass-rush defense. However, one team that could use an extra defensive piece is the Baltimore Ravens.

It’s not the biggest need since they’re bringing back their sack leader, Justin Madubuike for another season. They look solid in depth with Michael Pierce and Brent Urban but they could use one more rotational piece. The Saints need some experience at the position. It doesn’t look promising with just Khalen Saunders and Nathan Shepherd.

This means they could use a veteran upgrade. One potential trade that could happen is for the Carolina Panthers to team with Derrick Brown. The Panthers probably want to avoid having second-year quarterback, Bryce Young on the field often.


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