Everybody's getting extensions this off-season apparently.
The Steelers have signed defensive end Cam Heyward to a six-year $59.25 million extension that keeps him on the Steelers through the 2020 season.
For the #Steelers and DE Cameron Heyward, it’s a 6-year deal worth $59.2 million, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 17, 2015
The 31st pick in the 2011 Draft, Heyward was underwhelming in his first two years, but became a full-time starter on the Steelers defense in 2013 and broke out with 5 sacks, 59 tackles, and 7 passes deflected. In 2014 he had 7.5 sacks, 53 solo tackles, and 4 passes deflected.
Heyward was given the fifth year option earlier this off-season, but the Steelers and Heyward both said that they were open to reaching a deal on an extension. Heyward is one of the most experienced players on the Steelers defense and they are counting on him during the Steelers youth movement on defense.
Despite the rather pedestrian stats, Heyward has quietly been one of the more consistent players for the Steelers defense. He hasn't been flashy, but has been able to play all along the defensive line for the Steelers, which has come in handy through injuries and the attempts to replace aging veterans with younger talent. Whether the deal is really worth it will come later down the line once we know guaranteed money details and can see how Heyward plays over the next few seasons under his new contract.
Heyward is now the second highest paid Steeler behind Ben Roethlisberger, and is the 4th highest paid defensive end in football behind players like J.J. Watt, Mario Williams and Charles Johnson.