The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to make Minkah Fitzpatrick the highest-paid safety in the league, which would mean upwards of $17.5 million per year.
The Steelers are fortunate enough to not only have TJ Watt, but the team was able to give Watt the contract he deserves in a historic four-year, $112 million deal that included $80 million guaranteed.
That kind of player-minded contract is good for keeping around talents like Watt, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are tasked with doing the same with yet another NFL leader on their defense: safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick now heads into his fifth-year option season in 2022, and as the Steelers have demonstrated with Watt and others in the past, they are expected to ensure a deal gets done before the season kicks off this fall.
Still, that doesn’t mean the team is in a rush to ink the perfect deal, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
A source told Fowler that the Steelers “won’t be rushed into a deal”, meaning that fans should expect Fitzpatrick to earn big in Year 5, but it may come as late as August or September.
Fowler offered further context on the Fitzpatrick situation:
“But [Fitzpatrick] also knows the Steelers operate on their own time, which means we should look ahead to sometime between July and the September kickoff. “They won’t be rushed into a deal,” a source said. Under recently retired GM Kevin Colbert, the Steelers also did not negotiate in-season.
Fitzpatrick will likely be aiming for Jamal Adams’ market-setting $17.5 million per year. He’s in the top five among safeties in interceptions since 2019 (11) and has 36 career pass deflections and two first-team All-Pro selections.”
Steelers expected to make Minkah Fitzpatrick the highest-paid NFL safety
As plenty of players have proved throughout the offseason, NFL players continue competing off the field as they endeavor to become the highest-paid player in their respective positions.
For example, Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams landed a contract that made him the highest-paid wide receiver at $28.25 million per year, barely edging beyond the position’s former highest earner, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins at $27.25 million per year.
If the Steelers can get Fitzpatrick at $18 million per year, he’ll set the record as the highest-paid safety in the NFL, which would compensate him more than any other safety and validate how much the Steelers value him.