The Pittsburgh Steelers locked up one of their secondary stars on Wednesday, signing safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a five-year, $73 million extension, making him the highest-paid player at his position in NFL history. But, it’s what he said on Thursday that really proves the organization made the right decision to re-sign him.
When discussing his negotiations with the Steelers, Fitzpatrick explained why it was so important to him to be at mini-camp despite not having a new deal yet.
“I could’ve been at home in Florida training with my family but I really wanted to come up here and show my teammates I’m still focused on winning, still focused on us.” – Minkah Fitzpatrick on why he was at OTAs/minicamp even though he wasn’t practicing fully during negotiations.
"I could’ve been at home in Florida training with my family but I really wanted to come up here and show my teammates I’m still focused on winning, still focused on us" – Minkah Fitzpatrick on why he was at OTAs/minicamp even though he wasn't practicing fully during negotiations.
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) June 16, 2022
Now that’s the definition of a leader. Fitzpatrick knows what the ultimate goal is: Winning. He wasn’t going to let his contract stalls stop him from being there for the Steelers at the beginning of training camp. In fact, T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward set the example for him:
Minkah Fitzpatick says it was important for him to be at minicamp during the contract negotiation because he's seen the example set by players like Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt, and he wanted to still be involved. "Team is first for me."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 16, 2022
Pittsburgh is undoubtedly heading into a new era without Ben Roethlisberger, but they got a few players who are capable of being the ultimate leaders. Fitzpatrick meanwhile is coming off a solid campaign in 2021. He appeared in 16 games, racking up 124 tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. The former Alabama standout was traded to the Steelers in 2019 and has been named an All-Pro on two separate occasions.