(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
On Thursday afternoon, T.J. Watt finally got paid by the Steelers, as the three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker agreed to terms on a four-year extension worth over $112 million. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Watt will make $28.003 million per year — with $80 million fully guaranteed at signing. Watt is now the highest paid defensive player in the league.
And thanks to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, we now know the exact format of how the mega deal is laid out. The Steelers, who have had a long-standing rule of not giving out guarantees past the first year, are fully guaranteeing three years of the Watt deal.
Florio notes that the $80 million in guarantees for Watt is the largest full guarantee for a defensive player in NFL history. (Bosa has a full guarantee of $78 million and an effective guarantee of $102 million.)
Watt has a signing bonus of $35 million and will make a total of $36 million in 2021, which is a substantial increase in pay from the little over $10 million that he was scheduled to make this year if he played on the fifth-year option. In the first two years of his new deal, Watt will earn $60 million.
So in totality, this is how Watt's deal is laid out, courtesy of Florio.
A signing bonus of $35 million and $80 million guaranteed over the first three years. 2021 base salary: $1 million, fully guaranteed. 2022 base salary: $24 million, fully guaranteed. 2023 base salary: $20 million, fully guaranteed. Base salaries of $21.05 million in 2024 and 2025.