Pittsburgh Steelers Could Miss Pro Bowler T.J Watt for Opening Tie

Published 09/07/2021, 1:15 PM EDT
Aug 21, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback T.J.Watt warms up before playing the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports


Pittsburgh Steelers’ season opener against the Buffalo Bills might see an absence of TJ Watt. The Pro Bowler, despite attending all the training sessions, did not participate in any of the team activities. He performed exclusively in individual drills during the camp.

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His practice status does not seem to change as he seeks a pay raise from the franchise. The Steelers have refused to revise the terms of the contract for any player during the season and are therefore hanging TJ’s contract in mid-air.

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TJ Watt, the trump card of the Steelers

Many consider TJ Watt to be a strong contender to win the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year. His absence from the team can have ruinous effects on the team.

The linebacker has made significant improvements in his performance year after year. He has hauled double-digit sacks for three consecutive seasons since 2018. TJ delivered an exceptional performance during the previous season with 15 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, and 41 quarterback hits, for which he was nominated for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, finishing second only to Aaron Donald.

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TJ wants a pay raise

The star defender of the franchise has realized his worth and is now seeking to become the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player with an average annual salary exceeding $27 million. Furthermore, TJ is also due $10 million for the final year rookie contract in 2021. Apart from this, the linebacker also seeks to receive additional guaranteed money this season and beyond.

Due to the ongoing dispute, his availability against the Bills is still in question. Incidentally, with Bud Dupree’s offseason departure, the team counts on TJ’s pass rush, and his absence could prove to be fatal for the Steeler defense.

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With the clock ticking fast for the season to start, the Pittsburgh Steelers are yet to make a meticulous decision on the matter. The whole team counts on the negotiations made by the Steelers if they entertain the linebacker to do so.

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Sauvik Banerjee

64 articles

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