The Steelers have signed another player they hope can contribute to the team for years to come.
On Saturday, the Steelers and defensive end, Stephon Tuitt, agreed to a six-year contract extension. The deal will keep Tuitt in the Steel City through the 2022 season.
Tuitt, a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, has accumulated 11.5 sacks, 80 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 1 interception over the last three seasons.
Locking Tuitt up shows that the Steelers are committed to keeping their core of young players intact for the short and long term. Tuitt acts as a very solid counterpart to his fellow DE, Cam Heyward ,and defensive tackle, Javon Hargrave. This front three will be looking to get to the quarterback even more in the 2017-18 season.
Tuitt’s salary for the 2017 season was just over $1 million this season. Now, with a base salary and other bonuses, he is going to make $14 million.
As with any long-term deal, there is always built-in risk that a player will not live up to consistent expectations. However, the Steelers do not hand out these lucrative deals without doing their due diligence. There is more reward than risk in having all of these players on the roster now, trying to win another Super Bowl, than to let them walk into free agency down the line with nothing to show for it.
With this new extension, Tuitt can block out any thoughts of contract troubles and focus solely on helping this young defense improve.
UPDATE: September 11, 2017:
For now, veteran lineman, Tyson Alualu, will be called upon to fill the void in Tuitt’s absence.
Tuitt and Steeler Nation alike can breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that the young pass rusher avoided a season-ending in Week 1.