Steelers News

‘That’s A Load Of Crap’: Heyward Cautions Against Teams’ Contract Tactics With Free Agency Approaching

With free agency very nearly upon us, we are reminded that there are 32 different organizations who may handle contract negotiations in 32 different ways. There are only so many ways to skin a cat, as they say, so similarities are inevitable, but we know that preferences vary from front office to front office.

Yet any of them can potentially play the role of predator, so to speak, or at least to make their position very bluntly clear. It’s something that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive captain and NFLPA representative Cameron Heyward talked about somewhat recently during an episode of his Not Just Football podcast while discussing the Daniel Jones and Lamar Jackson contract situations.

You see sometimes in these situations that the team pressures the player, and they say, ‘This is how we do it. This is how we structure our contracts. I don’t know what your agent is telling you, but this is all we can do’”, he said. “That’s a load of crap. If the team wants to negotiate, they know how to negotiate. This is a tactic that a lot of teams use”.

Granted, he didn’t say that it’s a tactic the Steelers use, but it surely is. Pittsburgh more than most holds pretty fast to certain policies they are rarely pushed off from, with respect to signing bonus sizes and contract guarantees after the first season.

Heyward has spun the negotiating wheel with Pittsburgh’s front office on multiple occasions by this point, but he’s certainly never come away unhappy. He’s pocketed close to $100 million over the course of his career and is set to earn nearly another $32 million over the next two years.

Of course, he hasn’t had to negotiate on his own, because as with nearly all players, he hires an agent to do it for him. And you can probably surmise by his comments below that he thinks Jackson should probably get one. But it’s a mutual product between the player and the agent at the end of the day.

“A team can pressure the player into signing a contract, but the agent needs to step in and make sure he understands his value”, he said. “Or understand where you’re going. Do you want to win? Do you want to be a part of a team [where], I don’t have to make the most money, but I can make enough money and we can keep guys around me. That’s up to the player and the agent to work out themselves”.

Could Heyward have potentially made more if he allowed himself to hit the open market and went to the highest bidder? Certainly. Would he have ever had any interest in playing anywhere else as long as the Steelers would have him and pay him equitably? I hardly think so.

Still, it’s something for the younger players hitting free agency for the first time to keep in mind. And it might be advisable to take to heart what he said earlier about what teams might claim about how they do things and remind themselves that it’s a preference, not a rule.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!