Steelers Backup Plan for Cam Heyward

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a couple of options in the event they need to replace Cam Heyward.
Nov 2, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97)
Nov 2, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are at a difficult juncture in the career of long-time captain and standout defensive lineman, Cameron Heyward.

Heyward, who is set to enter his 14th season with the Steelers, has announced that he will be absent from Organized Team Activities until he and the team can agree to terms on a contract extension. Heading into the final year of his last contract extension, Heyward will look for some job security and a healthy payday while the Steelers aim to stay under the salary cap.

If the Steelers do end up needing to move on from Heyward at any point over the next two seasons, they have some options to replace him in house, but will likely have to look elsewhere for reinforcements, too.

There's little doubt Heyward will be available for the Steelers when the season begins the first weekend in September down in Atlanta with a Week 1 bout against the Falcons. But will the team be ready to capitalize on a critical front end of the schedule?

With so many difficult games on the back end of the 2024 slate, it's critical for the Steelers to pick up wins before the bye week and build momentum before closing the regular season by running through a gauntlet of divisional opponents and other contenders.

Noah Strackbein and Stephen Thompson break down what you need to know about Cam Heyward, the schedule and more on All Steelers Talk.

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Stephen Thompson


Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper. He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press. During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.