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Is T.J. Watt sitting out parts of practice because a massive deal is looming?

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

T.J. Watt hasn't participated in 11-on-11 sessions yet at training camp, but he has gone through individual drills. It's unclear if Watt is going through an injury or not. However, when Mike Tomlin was asked about the subject on Thursday, Tomlin said that he's not required to disclose injuries during training camp.

“It’s just day-to-day,” Tomlin said of Watt. “Probably the same level of anticipation (to return to practice) as Tuitt and others. I’m focused on the guys who are working and their opportunities and the process that this group is collectively going through.”

The Steelers have an extra week of practice this year with being in the Hall of Fame Game, so maybe Tomlin is trying to reserve Watt, or maybe he is dealing with an injury. However, many are speculating that Watt is sitting out parts of practice because he'll be receiving a massive contract extension soon, possibly as soon as this week.

Watt led the league in sacks (15), tackles for a loss (23), and quarterback hits (41) last year. He's also a perennial NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate, finishing second and third in voting for the award the last two seasons. So, his new deal should rival or top Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett's.

In July of 2020, the Browns signed Garrett to a five-year contract extension worth $125 million, with a $50 million signing bonus and $100 million in guaranteed money that would keep him in Cleveland through the 2026 season. Just a few weeks later, the Chargers signed Bosa to a five-year extension worth $135 million, which includes $78 million guaranteed at signing and $102 million overall.

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