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Alex Highsmith Participating in OTAs, ‘Optimistic’ a Deal Gets Done



Steelers OLB Alex Highsmith

PITTSBURGH — Alex Highsmith is doing things a little bit differently.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ star outside linebacker, who is entering the final season of his contract, was in attendance and a full participant in the team’s first organized team activity of the 2023 season at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Highsmith is taking a slightly different approach than some of his Steelers teammates have taken in that position over the last few years, such as T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Diontae Johnson, who attended but were not full participants in Steelers practices while waiting for their deals over the last few years.

He said he consulted those players, but at the end of the day, came up with a plan that he thinks will work best for him.

“I talked with some guys that have gone through the same situation in the past,” Highsmith said. “I’m just someone that likes to be here and likes to work. … We will sit what happens in the future.”

The 25-year-old said he feels that he can improve even beyond his breakout 2022 season, when he posted 14.5 sacks, more than doubling his 2021 total. He also is hoping to be able to help coach up the younger players at his position that are here for OTAs.

“Coming in as a rookie is tough,” he said. “t’s a whole new lifestyle, got study the playbook and be in meetings, so just being there to just help him with what they need.”

On the contract front, Highsmith said that talks have started between the Steelers and his agent, but he doesn’t have any specific updates.

“I’m going to be involved in it a little bit,” he said. “Of course, I want to know what’s happening. I’m confident in my agents. They know what they’re doing, so I let them handle that part, but I still want to know what’s going on and everything.”

That knowledge has led him to be optimistic about the process and he thinks he will be able to get a deal done this season.

“Things have started,” Highsmith said. “I just don’t know where it is yet. I’m optimistic.”

RELATED: What Will Alex Highsmith Extension Cost Steelers?

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