Will T.J. Watt(Pittsburgh Steelers) become the highest paid defensive player in the NFL???

Steelers not ‘close’ to signing T.J. Watt before Week 1?
from Zac Wassink, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday that he was “optimistic” star pass-rusher T.J. Watt would agree to terms with the franchise on a new deal and practice in a team setting on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s regular-season opener at the Buffalo Bills.

While Watt may practice, NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala previously reported disagreements between the parties about the amount of guaranteed money attached to a proposed new deal could “sink” negotiations ahead of Week 1.

Kinkhabwala elaborated during an appearance on Pittsburgh radio station 93.7 The Fan:

Tremendous NFL insider @AKinkhabwala on @937theFan on TJ Watt negotiations: “It’s not nearly as close [as we thought last week]. The guarantee is the big hold up. No Steelers player has ever been the highest paid defensive player in NFL…it’s gotten a little personal.”


— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) September 7, 2021
As bad as that sounds for members of the Pittsburgh faithful, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler later explained:

The great NFL Insider @JFowlerESPN on @937thefan thinks the TJ Watt deal WILL get done w/o the guarantees. Provided the deal makes Watt the highest paid non-QB in the NFL. Meaning highest annual per year salary average.

— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) September 7, 2021
Watt is a two-time first-team All-Pro who led the NFL last season with 15 sacks and has produced other impressive stats over the past several years:

Over the last three years, TJ Watt has led the #NFL in QB Hits (102) and been second in sacks (42.5) and
QB pressures (174).

Just b/c a team has always DONE things one way doesn’t mean it should continue to DO them the same way. #Steelers

— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 7, 2021
The Steelers are a win-now team with 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger serving as QB1 for maybe his last season as an active NFL player. In short, it behooves Pittsburgh to get Watt game-ready as quickly as possible before he turns his so-called hold-in into an official holdout this weekend.