The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed T.J. Watt to a huge contract extension. His new deal is worth $112 million over four years. In addition, $80 million of the deal is fully guaranteed at signing. This means Watt will be paid around $28 million per year. The new contract makes him the highest paid defensive player in the entire NFL.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the news via Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
Sources: The #Steelers and star pass-rusher TJ Watt have a mega-deal. He’s going to sign a 4-year extension worth more than $112M — $28.003M average per year — with $80M fully guaranteed at signing. The highest paid defensive player in football. 💰 💰 💰
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 9, 2021
This new deal puts watt ahead of Khalil Mack as the richest for a defensive player in the NFL. Now tied for third are Joey Bosa and Aaron Donald. Watt barely bested Donald in sacks and tackles last season, despite playing at a much more pass-rush friendly position. Donald had an interception and forced two more fumbles, also on his way to beating out Watt for Defensive Player of the Year.
However, he was elected to the First Team All-Pro in 2019 and 2020 and the Pro Bowl every season for the past three years. The former late-first round selection is the brother of three-time DPOY, J.J. Watt and Steelers teammate Derek Watt. After today’s signing, the Steelers move from having the second-most cap space in the NFL for 2022, to outside of the top-10.
Featured image courtesy of Cale Berger/Steelers Now
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