Pittsburgh Steelers mini camp has had made it’s fair share of headlines so far. Martavis Bryant and Senquez Golson are trying to prove to Pittsburgh that they’re worth keeping around and Le’Veon Bell has yet to make an appearance at camp to name a couple, but one major storyline has finally come to an end. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Steelers have all their draft picks under contract.
The Steelers have finally come to terms with first round pick T.J. Watt after a little over six weeks of intense negotiations.
First-round draft pick, T.J. Watt, has signed with the #Steelers. All eight rookies have now signed before the end of minicamp.
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) June 14, 2017
In addition to a $4.8 million signing bonus, Watt will earn a little over $9.2 million over the next four years according to Spotrac. As with all first round rookie deals, Watt’s contract also includes a 5th year team option.
Despite his first round status, Watt will most likely see limited snaps on defense to start the season. James Harrison and Bud Dupree are already penciled in as the team’s starting outside linebackers, but Watt’s transition to playing full time may come sooner than the team currently projects.
Watt has been a standout performer in mini camp so far and has received plenty of praise from the coaching staff about how quickly he’s acclimated himself to the Steelers playbook.
— Chris Mueller (@bychrismueller) June 14, 2017
The coaching staff clearly likes what they’ve seen in Watt so far and if he continues to impress, he’ll most likely usurp Harrison at outside linebacker sooner rather than later.
Now that Watt’s contract is finalized, the Steelers front office can now shift their focus to completing the most important task the franchise has this offseason: Signing all-world running back Le’Veon Bell to a long term deal before the July 15th franchise tender deadline.
Mike Esposito is the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos Staff Writer at Endzonescore.com. Follow him on Twitter @espo6891