(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
It was a no-brainer decision for the Steelers to place the fifth-year option on free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, as he's been named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press the last two seasons. When speaking with the media after today's OTAs practice, Fitzpatrick expressed his gratitude to the Steelers for placing the fifth-year option on him.
"You definitely appreciate it," Fitzpatrick said. "It guarantees me another year in Pittsburgh. Great city, great team, great organization. It's a blessing. Getting that sigh of relief. You don't have to worry about what if, what if, for another two years. It's definitely a blessing. I am happy it happened. I want to make them proud of their decision."
Fitzpatrick's current contract runs through the 2022 season, but he should receive a contract extension after this season that will keep him in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future, along with making him the highest-paid safety in the league.
In March, Broncos free safety Justin Simmons signed a four-year, $61 million contract with $35 million guaranteed that made him the highest-paid safety in the league, averaging $15.25 million per year. Fitzpatrick should surpass Simmons after the 2021 season, however, especially if he's named AP first-team All-Pro for the third consecutive year.