The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the clock, literally, regarding a possible contract extension for star defender TJ Watt. All offseason long Watt has been eyeing a new deal and the Steelers have yet to reach an agreement, which could put Watt’s Week 1 availability in jeopardy.
However, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is surprisingly optimistic regarding Watt’s situation.
Mike Tomlin, on T.J. Watt's contract/practice situation:
"I remain optimistic that something is going to get done from a deal perspective."
"I'm preceding with the assumption that he's going to work tomorrow."
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) September 7, 2021
Perhaps Tomlin knows something that the rest of us don’t, or perhaps he is just being overly optimistic about the Steelers star.
If Watt doesn’t agree to a deal before Saturday, he could end up missing some time since the Steelers don’t like to negotiate deals during the season, and a potential absence of Watt would be detrimental.
While Tomlin is optimistic, there are other reports that this deal is still a long way away from happening. According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, there are some hang-ups remaining.
The #Steelers’ commitment to one main tradition -refusing to offer full guarantees beyond Year One- is threatening to sink these TJ Watt negotiations. Source had me optimistic last week that things were close. After convo w folks close to contract talks just now, I’m not as much.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 7, 2021
The regular season is days away and the clock is ticking rapidly for a deal to be done. The Steelers need Watt, and a holdout could hurt both parties, similar to the situation with Le’Veon Bell.
It seems good that Tomlin is at least optimistic, but let’s see what happens before Sunday rolls around.