Are you one of those people who are wondering what’s going on with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minkah Fitzpatrick? The All-Pro safety is going into his fifth season, the final year of his rookie contract, set to play under the fifth-year option. So why doesn’t he have a new deal yet?
Well, perhaps you’re a new fan, because it’s really not customary for the Steelers—and many teams—to complete extensions with their premium players, outside of the quarterback position, until later in the offseason. That typically happens during training camp, as Jason La Canfora discussed yesterday on The Fan Morning Show yesterday.
“I think a lot of times, with them, we see it happen while everybody’s up in Latrobe, right?”, he said “There’s a lot of time to talk to players, and people, I’m assuming this will be a normal training camp situation, COVID willing, we’ve seen a lot of things get rectified up there. That’s been their pace, that’s been their history”.
As you well know, I’m sure, T.J. Watt’s contract extension went down to the wire shortly before the regular season began. Cameron Heyward and Joe Haden are two other recent players who signed late-August extensions, but sometimes they get done in July, depending on the situation. La Canfora did note one variable in the equation this offseason, though.
“They’re in a nebulous spot, the likes of which we haven’t seen in that franchise in a long time”, he said. “They’re figuring out exactly what a post-Kevin Colbert Steelers front office is going to look like, and there really is sort of a quiet time now”.
It is fair, I think, to wonder how this influences the process, if at all. Omar Khan, of course, heads player contract negotiation discussions, but would they want to wait until they have their new general manager in place, anyway?
Perhaps not. After all, they did go through free agency and the draft without worrying too much about it. They’ve already saddled their next general manager with not one, not even two, but three new quarterbacks, including a significant free agent signing and a first-round draft pick.
Still, the bottom line remains where it’s always been when it comes to Minkah Fitzpatrick and his new contract: there’s no rush. They won’t even start talking much if at all until they get over to Latrobe (this actually marking Fitzpatrick’s first time there, since he was acquired in-season in 2019, after training camp, and COVID has knocked out the last two camps).