Michael Perrett, the agent for Steelers DL Cameron Heyward, tells Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that there haven’t been serious talks regarding an extension with Pittsburgh, even though his client is entering the final year of his contract.
“I thought we’d be further along in the process. In a normal year, we might be,” Perrett told ESPN. “The current situation (with the pandemic) has led to a lot of uncertainty, but NFL business is still moving forward. Cam would love to retire a Steeler, but at this point, he just doesn’t know how all of this is going to play out.”
Fowler says Heyward would like to finish his career with the Steelers and is not considering holding out for a new deal.
The uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season has led to some teams pushing pause on big-money extensions until they have a better idea of what the cap will be next year. Even so, that has stopped a few teams from signing notable players like Patriots Mahomes, Chris Jones, Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa to big-money deals.
The Steelers will also need to address the contract of OLB T.J. Watt, who is in line for a massive contract at some point in the next year or so.
Back in June, Heyward said he’s uncertain if he will be in Pittsburgh beyond 2020.
“Man, I hate talking about it in the past tense like I am already gone, but I have to be ready for the reality if that comes about,” Heyward said via the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “I love being a Pittsburgh Steeler, but if my time is up, my time is up.”
The Steelers generally have a policy that they don’t negotiate contracts in season, so the two sides have until Sept. 14 to agree to a new deal, otherwise Heyward is likely ticketed for free agency.
“We have talked about it (prior), but things happen,” Heyward said. “We haven’t had any talks as of late, and it may be due to the virus, I don’t know. I don’t know if their minds have changed. I understand their policy and respect their policy. If I have to play this year and go into next year as a free agent, then so be it. That’s not going to deter me from being the best teammate, the best person, the best player I can be.”
Heyward, 31, is a former first-round pick of the Steelers back in 2011. He’s entering the final year of his six-year, $59.2 million contract that included $15 million guaranteed.
Heyward is set to make a base salary of $9.5 million in 2020.
In 2019, Heyward started all 16 games for the Steelers and recorded 83 tackles, nine sacks, one forced fumble, a recovery and six pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 interior defender out of 117 qualifying players.
We’ll have more on Heyward as the news is available.