Steelers make TJ Watt highest paid defender in NFLBy Amber Lee
The Steelers signed defensive lineman T.J. Watt to a four-year, $112 million extension on Thursday, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Watt, 26, will earn $80 million guaranteed, per Rapoport. He is now the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.
Sources: The #Steelers and star pass-rusher TJ Watt have a mega-deal. He’s going to sign a 4-year extension worth more than $112M — $28.003M average per year — with $80M fully guaranteed at signing. The highest paid defensive player in football. 💰 💰 💰
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 9, 2021
Watt’s mega-contract comes after three years of dominant production for the Steelers. The No. 30 pick in the 2017 NFL draft led the NFL with 15 sacks last season, and he’s tallied 42.5 sacks over the last three seasons. Watt also led the NFL in tackles for loss in 2020.
The Steelers finished No. 3 in the NFL in scoring defense last season behind Watt’s excellence. They’ve reached the playoffs just once in the last three seasons, losing in the wild card round in 2020.