Cameron Heyward announced via his Twitter account that he has reached an agreement with the Steelers on a new contract.
— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) July 17, 2015
- Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Heyward receives a six-year contract worth $59.25 million.
- Jeremy Fowler reports that Heyward will receive $21 million over the first eight months of the agreement.
- The contract includes $15 million upfront in the form of signing and roster bonuses, according to Ian Rapoport.
- Spotrac points out that Heyward is now the 11th highest paid defensive end based on average salary.
The Steelers have a history of negotiating long-term term deals for players entering the final year of their rookie agreements, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see them take care of one of their best, young defensive players.
Addressing Heyward’s contract now could pay off in the end given that he’s an ascending player who would have likely cashed in big time as the cap increases and other teams are able to bid on him.
Heyward, 26, had his fifth-year option picked up by the Steelers, which will run them $6.969 million for the 2015 season.
His new contract will keep him under team control through the 2020 season.
In 2014, Heyward appeared in all 16 games and totaled 59 tackles, five sacks and a fumble recovery for the Steelers. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 18 defensive end in 3-4 defense last season.