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Steelers DL Cam Heyward Discusses the ‘R’ Word



Cam Heyward as the Steelers played against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)

Following the conclusion of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season, veteran defensive tackle Cam Heyward floated the idea of retirement, stating he wasn’t certain if the team would want him back for another season because of his age and his cap hit. Heyward retracted his hinting at retirement statement in February on his podcast, but at the age of 34, it definitely is something on the horizon. Heyward’s football life is going to be over sooner rather than later. That’s just the reality of the situation.

“The reflection period of (last season) was long. Just understanding that I got more years in the tank,” Heyward told reporters on Tuesday during the second day of OTAs at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “Excited to keep on attacking it. Trying to figure out this puzzle and win a Super Bowl.”

Heyward clarified that he uses the “R” word as a tool for perspective.

“I use (the idea of retirement) just to give myself some space to really look at the situation,” Heyward said. “It’s not retirement. It’s more of a reflection, really just focusing on the seasons. Every year I got to focus on that, because I put so much into it. You need that time away to really stand back and see what’s happening and what you want to do.”

A Super Bowl ring is really the only missing piece to Heyward’s Hall of Fame resume. He is a six-time Pro Bowler and has been selected first-team All-Pro three times. He ranks second on the franchise’s all-time sack list with 78.5, behind just James Harrison (80.5). Heyward might end up in Canton with or without a Super Bowl title, especially if he reaches 100 sacks, but it’s something that every player covets.

Heyward’s fellow 2011 draft classmate, Patrick Peterson, is also looking for a Super Bowl ring to add to his Hall of Fame credentials. Despite having the worst odds in the AFC North, Peterson believes the Steelers can be a playoff team in 2023.

Heyward was asked if the Steelers got closer to the Super Bowl this offseason, but the six-time Pro Bowler wasn’t going there.

“You tell me,” Heyward said. “Everyone wants to talk about it in freaking May and June.”

The Steelers currently have +4500 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII, according to FanDuel.

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