TJ Watt will be walking into a contract season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021. Many feel Watt could become the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL once things are said and done between the Steelers and Watt. Normally the Steelers would not pay big contracts to linebackers because the Steelers produce them at a high level, but TJ Watt is a one-of-a-kind player who fits perfectly in their system. I don't think Watt could produce at the same level if he was with another NFL football team. So both sides need to come to terms on a contract because it would be a win-win situation for them both.
The last time the Steelers decided to pay big for a linebacker was with Lamar Woodley. They came to terms on a six-year, $61.5 million dollar contract and I believe TJ Watt will shatter that contract in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers want to come to terms with TJ Watt they will need to pay him in a big way because he is part of the backbone on the Steeler's defensive side of the ball. I would expect the Steelers would need to come up with a contract that looks like a five-year, $140 million dollar deal with $105 million guaranteed.
Unfortnently we did not get any news on TJ Watt's current contract situation with the Pittsburgh Steelers because Watt decided to decline to talk about it today with the media. He said, “With respect to the process, I’m not going to be talking about any contract stuff today.” Does that mean the process has already started to begin between the Steelers and Watt?
If I were the Pittsburgh Steelers I would be negotiating a contract this summer to try and get some common ground between both sides. I would not wait until after the 2021 season because both sides do not want to go down the franchise tag route. I believe that will be the Steeler's last option if they cannot come to terms on a new agreement and Watt would be worth every penny on the franchise tag, but I feel the Steelers need to keep him as happy as possible and not turn him into a disgruntled player. The Steelers have no options other than to keep TJ Watt in Pittsburgh at all costs.