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Contract Restructure for Cam Heyward Seems Unlikely



Cam Heyward warms up ahead of Steelers vs. Ravens on Jan. 1, 2023 in Baltimore. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)

In January shortly after the Pittsburgh Steelers season ended, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward ripped the notion that he might take a pay cut in the final year of his deal. His cap hit will reach over $22 million (according to Over the Cap), but an extension could lower that. There was also speculation that Heyward could retire given his age and health.

“I bust my butt in rehab, doing everything,” Heyward said on his Not Just Football podcast. “I got to let things calm down. Screw the people who keep talking about me getting a pay cut.”

At the NFL owner’s meetings, Steelers general manager Omar Khan didn’t reveal much on a possible restructure for Heyward’s $22.4 million salary. But he made clear that Heyward will be in a Steelers uniform in 2024.

“We’ll talk through those things,” Khan said, via Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There’s still a lot of time, but you know, Cam (Heyward) is going to be here. And so, we’ll figure it out.”

In a recent online chat, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated that he believes the Steelers are not going to restructure Heyward’s contract.

“I think they are going to leave it just the way it is,” Dulac said.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network noted that Heyward was a strong advocate for the Steelers bringing quarterback Russell Wilson to Pittsburgh.

“There were a couple of strong advocates for Russell Wilson in Pittsburgh throughout the process. One of them was veteran defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, who like Russell Wilson is a former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award winner,” Pelissero said. “Heyward was certainly a strong voice in the locker room, wanting Wilson brought aboard. The other was head coach Mike Tomlin, who spent a lot of time with Wilson during a visit at the team facility.”

Heyward turns 35 in May and his window of winning a Super Bowl is closing. So it’s not surprising that he would advocate for bringing in another quarterback, as Wilson is a nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion. Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph combined for 13 touchdown passes last season.