Steelers DE Cam Heyward throws support behind T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers DE Cam Heyward: We all feel like T.J. Watt should be paid

Add Cam Heyward to the list of Pittsburgh Steelers players speaking out on behalf of T.J. Watt, who is eligible for a contract extension. 

Heyward told reporters Thursday many players on the team feel Watt "should be paid" because he's a "game-changer" and doesn't miss games. 

"I just think this guy has been a contributor for us for a long time and where he got drafted, we were very lucky," Heyward said. "We all knew he was going to be a player here, and he's answered the call and done more."

Watt fully participated in team drills on Wednesday after previously holding out in pursuit of a new deal. The 26-year-old's status for Week 1 is unknown, with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler suggesting earlier this week Watt could sit out if a contract extension is not finalized. 

The star outside linebacker has reiterated his desire to remain with the Steelers throughout training camp this summer, saying, "Obviously, I would love to be here [long term]."

Watt had the best season of his career in 2020, recording 15 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, 53 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss and 41 quarterback hits. 

The three-time Pro Bowler is in the final year of his rookie contract and is owed $10.1 million for the 2021 season. He's looking to become one of the highest-paid outside linebackers in the NFL, joining Khalil Mack ($23.5 million AAV) and Fred Warner ($19.045 million AAV). 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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