Ryan Shazier will remain a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the reasons go far beyond football. The Steelers announced his contract will be tolled into the 2019 season in an effort to keep him employed by the organization.
Shazier will eventually be placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. While this means his returning to the playing field is still a year away, if it ever happens, keeping Shazier assists in his recovery process. He will be paid a salary reflective of his years of service in the NFL. This figure is reported to be around $805,000, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. Most importantly, Shazier will continue to accrue seasons toward his NFL players’ pension and his medical insurance will continue to be the same coverage active NFL players receive.
“We will continue to support Ryan’s efforts to return to play,” said General Manager Kevin Colbert in a statement released by the Steelers. “Although he won’t be able to help us on the field in 2019, his leadership, insight, and emotional support have always been very valuable to us, and we look forward to his contributions in our pursuit of a championship,” added Colbert.
Fans, even those of rival teams, immediately took to social media to praise the class of the Steelers upon hearing the Shazier news. This is a welcome change for a franchise that’s been wrapped up in drama for months.
Shazier suffered a serious injuring on Dec. 4, 2017 in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He underwent spinal stabilization surgery but has been progressively recovering ever since.