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BREAKING: Steelers Not Talking Extension with Guard James Daniels

Pittsburgh Steelers RG James Daniels said he has been told that he will not get a contract extension from the team before the 2024 season.

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Pittsburgh Steelers RG James Daniels
Pittsburgh Steelers right guard James Daniels during OTAs at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on May 21, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Right guard James Daniels will not be getting a contract extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers before the start of the 2024 season, the veteran offensive lineman said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Steelers Now, Daniels said he has been informed by the team that there won’t be talks regarding an extension this offseason.

“I was told nothing’s going to happen, so I don’t have to worry about that,” Daniels said on Wednesday.

Daniels is entering the final year of a three-year, $26.5 million contract that he signed with the team in 2022. He has started 32 of a possible 34 regular season games since joining the team, missing two contests last season.

Pittsburgh Steelers right guard James Daniels

Pittsburgh Steelers right guard James Daniels in a game against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 15, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers have multiple starters entering the final year of their contracts, including defensive tackle Cam Heyward, who is holding out of OTAs while negotiating an extension, running back Najee Harris, tight end Pat Freiermuth and quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields.

The Steelers have plenty of salary cap space to work with. An extension to Heyward would likely reduce his cap hit, and they restructured the deal of outside linebacker Alex Highsmith to create more space before the draft, but have not yet utilized it.

If Daniels does indeed become a free agent next offseason, he seems to be hitting the market at a very good time. Landon Dickerson of the Philadelphia Eagles signed a four-year, $84 million this offseason only to be eclipsed among NFL guard contracts by Robert Hunt of the Carolina Panthers inking a five-year, $100-million deal.

Even former Steelers guard Kevin Dotson cashed in with a three-year, $48 million contract with the Los Angeles Rams, one season after being traded for a mid-round draft picks.

“I pay attention to Dot, obviously, because I played with him, but everything else, I haven’t really paid attention,” Daniels said. “I really don’t see any NFL news or any of that. I found about Dot because someone texted it me. I have seen that it’s a good time to be a guard in the NFL. I’m just glad that those players — they’re all great players — that they’re getting contracts they deserve.”

The Steelers seem to have an added an insurance policy against a potential Daniels departure by drafting South Dakota State’s Mason McCormick in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Starting left guard Isaac Seumalo, McCormick and 2023 draft pick Spencer Anderson are the three guards under contract for the team beyond the 2024 season.

Daniels said that with an extension off the table, he’s just been focused on his play and getting ready for the 2024 season.

“Just approaching the play, and just go from there,” he said.