Steelers' Cam Heyward at OTAs despite contract issues

League: NFL

Posted on: 04 Jun, 2024 at 06:43 PM

Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was all smiles as he welcomed Cam Heyward to the opening day of organized team activities on Tuesday, despite the defensive tackle's desire for a contract extension.

Heyward, entering the final year of his current contract (four years, $65.6 million), is a three-time All-Pro and the 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. He has played in 194 career games (159 starts) across 13 seasons with Pittsburgh, recording 647 tackles and 80.5 sacks.

He skipped voluntary workouts last month and it was believed he'd sit out OTAs, too.

But he showed up and let reporters know what he wants in a new contract.

"I'm looking to be here," Heyward said. "I want to be valued at my position. I understand I came off a rough season but I don't think it's a step down from where I can play. I think when I'm at the top of my game, I'm still a top-five player at my position."

Heyward, 35, played only 11 games last season because of a Week 1 groin injury. Heyward finished with 33 tackles and two sacks during the 2023 campaign.

Heyward told reporters he intends to take part in minicamp and training camp.

Heyward's average annual salary of $16.4 million ranks just 25th among defensive linemen, per Spotrac.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa tops the list with an average salary of $34 million. Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs, a defensive tackle, is second at $31.75 million.

--Field Level Media