PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers inked their first superstar to a long-term contract extension. T.J. Watt, reportedly without the advice of his agent, signed a four-year, $112 million deal to remain in the Steel City - closing one saga and beginning another.
Watt is the first of two defensive stars the Steelers needed to sign over the next two seasons. This summer, it was the edge rusher. Next summer, it's safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick took advantage of being second. The two-time First-Team All-Pro watched during Pittsburgh's negotiations with Watt to prepare for his conversations with general manager Kevin Colbert and team president Art Rooney II next offseason.
"I'm paying attention to it because he's in a similar situation to where I can be in the future," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm talking to him and I'm just kind of getting a feel for how the organization and everyone else is going about it."
Watt broke a barrier within the Steelers organization, but it didn't come easy. The two sides negotiated until Thursday afternoon, only three days before the team's Week 1 kickoff with the Buffalo Bills.
Fitzpatrick will likely need to break down his own walls during contract talks, which is fine. The 24-year-old understands business is business.
"It is what it is," Fitzpatrick said. "It's business. I don't have too much to say about it. Everybody has a way they do business and you have to respect it."
Watt couldn't be more thrilled to stay in Pittsburgh. If all goes well, Fitzpatrick should feel the same next season.
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