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Cam Heyward Returns to Steelers Facility for OTAs

Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward returned to practice on Tuesday amid his contract talks that are ongoing with the team.

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Pittsburgh Steelers DT Cam Heyward
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward at practice on Dec. 28, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward is back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for the team’s OTAs according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After missing the first two weeks, Heyward returned quickly amid demands of a new contract extension with the team. Heyward, 35, told Steelers Now that he would like to play for at least three more seasons but that a contract would have to come from the Steelers. He is in the last year of his deal and will become a free agent following the 2024 season.

“We’ve talked about an extension,” Heyward said to Steelers Now last month. “We’ll see what happens. My goal is to play two to three more years. Mostly three. I’m looking for an opportunity. We’ll see what happens. I’d like it to be here, but my goal is to play. So we’ll see.”

On his podcast, Cam Heyward stated that he wanted security. There has been no report on his exact money ask from the team, but at the very least, Heyward would like multiple years on his deal. He is coming off a season where he suffered a groin injury, which was two separate injuries, as he tore his adductor muscle and developed a sports hernia. Heyward underwent surgery and returned in eight weeks but had an offseason cleanup procedure done as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers DL Cam Heyward

Pittsburgh Steelers DL Cam Heyward against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 23, 2023 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

When he did not show up at the beginning of OTAs two weeks ago amid the contract talks, Mike Tomlin highlighted it as insignificant, especially since Heyward is such a vested veteran who has been around the block more than anyone else on the roster.

“I’m not overly concerned, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said. “Cam’s a guy with over 10,000-plus career snaps. It’s probably an easier day for me with him not being there. I thin the lines out to get to know some people that I know less than him. Obviously, I know Cam very well. We’ve shared a lot of experiences over the years. But he and I talk often, as a matter of fact, we talked twice yesterday, but that’s not an irregular thing. That’s what we always do: talk not only about where he is and what’s going on with him, but where this team is, because as a leader, he needs information in that regard.”

While there is no clear timeline for a deal, Heyward is back in the building, and clearly, that means he and the team are on good enough terms for that to happen. The Steelers refuse to negotiate with players during the season as a franchise policy, so if Heyward does get extended, it will have to happen before the team takes on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.

 

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