The Pittsburgh Steelers have 12 days remaining before they kick off their 2020 regular season on the road against the New York Giants and that’s also the believed deadline for them to get defensive captain Cameron Heyward signed to a new long-term contract extension as well. Last week, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert didn’t have much to say about a possible Heyward contract extension during his media Zoom call. On Wednesday morning, however, Colbert shed a tiny bit of new light on the Heyward situation during his 93.7 The Fan interview when asked if the Steelers have reciprocated interest in getting a deal done with their former first-round draft pick and if the two sides are close.
“Well, as you know, we never talk about an individual negotiation publicly,” Colbert said. “That’s always between the player and the organization and we’ll leave it at that. I can say that when we have a great player, we always want them to finish their career here. And when the player has that same desire, it’s usually something that can be worked out. So, we have another week prior to our start of the regular season, or start the prep for the regular season, and we’ll see where things go, not only with any individual prayer, but maybe there’s other things that pop up that we just aren’t aware of yet.”
We’ll, while Colbert didn’t say much more about Heyward situation than he did last week, there are subtle hints in what he did say that gives some optimism that an extension with Heyward will ultimately get finalized prior to the team’s regular season opener.
The Steelers will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week and their roster cuts will take place on Saturday. Week 1 of the 2020 regular season officially gets underway on Tuesday. The Steelers have a longstanding policy of negotiating contract with players once a regular season gets underway and Colbert confirmed again on Wednesday that there are no plans to change that policy this year.
“No. I mean, it is a different year, it’s different for everybody, it’s not just NFL football or the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Colbert said. “But the one thing we will maintain is the importance of being focused on prepping for the New York giants and that’s really our sole purpose right now. So, our policies won’t change. We’re always going to prioritize being ready for the given season and that season starts in less than two weeks. So, we have to be ready and focused and we will be.”
The Steelers need to clear a little more 2020 salary cap space prior to the start of the 2020 regular season and signing Heyward to a contract extension in the next 12 days could possibly help in that matter. The Steelers will also likely restructure the contract of either guard David DeCastro or defensive end Stephon Tuitt in the next 12 days as well to help free up some additional 2020 salary cap space.
We’ll get out answer on Heyward in the next 12 days and maybe even sooner if an extension ultimately gets done. If possible, both sides would likely get the extension done prior to the team’s first Week 1 practice, which might be as early as this next Monday.