3 reasons the Steelers shouldn’t give in to T.J. Watt’s contract demands

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If you are a Pittsburgh Steelers fan you have been on Watt Watch for weeks as the Steelers and linebacker T.J. Watt tries and work out a new contract extension for Watt. It seems less and less likely the deal will get done before the team’s first game and to play devil’s advocate, here are three reasons why Pittsburgh shouldn’t give in.

Precedent

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The likely roadblock in contract negotiations is in the amount of guaranteed money. Watt wants more than the Steelers want to give and extended beyond the first year. But this isn't something the Steelers do and by giving in and breaking their own rules, they open up the door for more players wanting the same.

2022 salary cap

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Pittsburgh is anticipating having more than $100 million in salary-cap space next season so they should have their pick of free agents. This could be a reason the Steelers don't want to lock up a massive amount of 2022 cap space on a single pass rusher no matter how good he is. This is especially true when you consider the Steelers could be looking for a new franchise quarterback.

Outside linebacker depth

(AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Head coach Mike Tomlin sounds confident in the team's group of outside linebackers whether Watt joins them or not. With Alex Highsmith and Jamir Jones promising young players and veteran Melvin Ingram playing on the cheap, Pittsburgh might not view Watt as an outside linebacker as valuable as Watt values himself as an individual talent.

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