At some point this offseason, it’s a good bet that the Pittsburgh Steelers will sign safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a very lucrative contract extension. Will, however, such an extension get done before training camp gets underway? According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network on Monday, that might just happen.
“And I still am told that that deal is very, very close to getting done,” Kinkhabwala said during a Monday interview on 93.7 The Fan. “So, be on alert for that.”
Kinkhabwala went on to say that she expects Fitzpatrick’s new extension, once it is done, to result in him being the highest paid safety in the NFL.
As far as the timing goes, it would be really unusual for the Steelers to get Fitzpatrick signed to a contract extension before training camp gets underway. The team, by the way, doesn’t have long history of getting players signed to super-lucrative deals between April 1 and the start of training camp. There have been exceptions, however, with the last one being in 2019 when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed a two-year contract extension on April 24, 2019.
Last year, the Steelers didn’t get outside linebacker T.J. Watt signed to his contract extension until September 9, right before the 2021 regular season got underway. That deal came on the heels of Watt essentially holding in throughout training camp and the preseason.
Should Fitzpatrick not get an extension done prior to training camp getting underway, it’s a good bet that he would repeat what Watt did last year, which means only practicing on the side until he signs a new deal.
Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams is currently the highest-paid player in the NFL at his position at $17.5 million. The expectations are that Fitzpatrick’s deal would come in with a new money average slightly higher than that, possibly right at $18 million.
Currently, Fitzpatrick is set to earn $10.612 million in 2022 as part of his fifth-year option being picked up last offseason.
Last season, Fitzpatrick, who was acquired by the Steelers from the Miami Dolphins in 2019 via an early season trade, recorded 124 total tackles and two interceptions to go along with a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.