Steelers’ T.J. Watt Talks Contract Agreement Story: ‘It’s Partially True’

TJ Watt at Lambeau Field

Stacy Revere/Getty Images T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 3, 2021.

After the Pittsburgh Steelers made All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt the highest paid defender in the NFL in September, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Watt “overruled his agents” and personally accepted the team’s offer, even though his agents believed they could still get more money.

The way Schefter framed the story sounds like well-crafted propaganda …

… but when Watt appeared on The Rich Eisen Show on November 5, 2021, he indicated that there’s at least a kernel of truth to the legend.

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“Did you just say, we’re done?” asked Eisen at one point.

“Yeah, it’s partially true,” said Watt. “It just got to a point where there was back-and-forth towards the end in the minor details. Obviously, anyone who has dealt with any type of negotiation in life, once you get towards the end there’s always little things here and there that you want adjusted.

But after months-long negotiations that were said to be “extremely difficult,” Watt indicated that he just wanted to get things over with.

“Towards the end, I just said, Hey, this organization and Mr. Rooney have showed such great faith in me and wanting to keep me here. I’m just so sick of going back and forth, back and forth. They have a great deal on the table. Let’s just accept it and move on. I wanted to get back to work more than anything, because obviously I wasn’t doing training camp. I wasn’t taking part in that. I just wanted to get on the field as quickly as possible and I felt the deal was fair for both sides.

In the end, Watt received a four-year, $112 million contract extension with $80 million fully-guaranteed at signing, as per It’s a deal that binds him to the Steelers through the 2025 season.

“I’m super happy to be in Pittsburgh for a long time,” Watt told Eisen, “but there is still so much work that needs to be done and I want to be the person that can help bring this team another Super Bowl.”

Former Steelers Draft Pick Antoine Brooks Jr. Elevated by Rams

Meanwhile, on Saturday the Los Angeles Rams elevated former Steelers sixth-round draft pick Antoine Brooks Jr. from the practice squad to the active/inactive roster for the second week in a row. Brooks, who was selected No. 198 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, made his Rams debut on October 31, 2021, in L.A.’s 38-22 win over the Houston Texans, playing 19 snaps on special teams.

Brooks signed to the Rams practice squad on September 3, 2021, just days after being waived from Pittsburgh’s Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement.

Ex-Steelers Quarterback Devlin Hodges Loses First CFL Start

Also on Saturday, former Steelers quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges made his first start in the CFL since signing a three-year contract with the Ottawa Redblacks in mid-September.

Hodges completed just 8 of 22 passes for 90 yards and added four rushes for 25 yards as his team lost to the Toronto Argonauts, 23-20. It was the sixth loss in a row for the Redblacks, who are last in the CFL’s East Division with a 2-11 record. Ottawa concludes its 2021 season on Friday November 19 at Montreal.

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