At some point before the 2022 NFL regular season gets underway, the Pittsburgh Steelers will likely sign safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a long-term extension and one that should result in him being the highest-paid at his position. On Wednesday, Jeremey Fowler of ESPN addressed players around the NFL that are looking for contract extensions during the remainder of the offseason and obviously Fitzpatrick was included in that post.
“Fitzpatrick will likely be coming for Jamal Adams’ market-setting $17.5 million per year,” Fowler wrote. “He’s in the top five among safeties in interceptions since 2019 (11) and has 36 career pass deflections and two first-team All-Pro berths.”
Fowler also went on to write about how Fitzpatrick will likely get guaranteed money beyond just a signing bonus as part of his extension on the heels of Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt knocking down that barrier last summer.
“The Steelers relented on their guarantee structures with Watt’s deal last year,” Fowler astutely wrote. “Old Pittsburgh deals featured no guarantees beyond the signing bonus, but Watt has $80 million in guaranteed money on his four-year, $112 million deal.”
Everything that Fowler wrote about Fitzpatrick on Wednesday certainly passes the sniff test. At this point, it should only be a matter of time before Fitzpatrick signs a four-year extension that includes a new money average of around $18 million with possibly as much as $50 million or so of around $82 million total being guaranteed.
The Steelers, as Fowler noted on Wednesday, won’t likely be in any real hurry to get Fitzpatrick signed before training camp gets underway. Once Fitzpatrick reports to Latrobe for camp in late July is likely when contract extension talks will really start ramping up. Until the extension gets down, Fitzpatrick might participate in an in-house holdout during training camp just as Watt did a year ago.
Fitzpatrick is currently poised to earn $10.612 million in 2022 as part of the fifth-year option on his rookie contract being picked up by the Steelers last offseason.