All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2021 offseason roster.
97 • Cameron Heyward, 11th-year defensive lineman
6-foot-5, 295 pounds
Acquired: Drafted by the Steelers with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Last season: Started the first 15 games of the season for the Steelers before being held out of the regular season finale at Cleveland as a precaution.
Heyward finished with 54 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hits, four sacks, three passes defended and his first career interception.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fourth consecutive season and was named a second-team All-Pro, the second straight year he earned All-Pro honors.
Career: Heyward started his NFL career slowly, working as a rotational player in his first two pro seasons, but broke out in 2013, earning a starting role that he’s yet to relinquish.
After a torn pectoral muscle cut short his 2016 season, Heyward came back to play the best football of his career in 2017, setting career highs in sacks (12) and tackles for loss (16), while earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time.
Heyward has been a team captain since 2016 and has been the team’s NFLPA player representative since 2020.
College: Heyward was an All-American and All-Big Ten selection as a senior at Ohio State in 2010. He finished his career with the Buckeyes with 162 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and one interception. Ohio State won the Big Ten three of his four years in Columbus, and Heyward played in the BCS Championship Game, Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl as a collegiate.
Camp outlook: Heyward doesn’t appear to be slowing down much after 10 years in the NFL. His 89.1 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2020 was the third-best of his career.
He will start at end in the Steelers’ base 3-4 alignment and tackle in the team’s Nickel and Dime packages, alongside longtime fellow starter Stephon Tuitt and with 2020 starting nose tackle Tyson Alualu returning, as well.
Future: This will be the first season of a four-year contract extension Heyward signed last summer. He’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent once again in 2025.
The rest of the 90: