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Steelers, Minkah Fitzpatrick Wanted Deal Before Training Camp



Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick Omar Khan

PITTSBURGH — Under Kevin Colbert, the Minkah Fitzpatrick contract situation may have drawn out the entirety of training camp. T.J. Watt’s contract situation in 2021 is the most recent example. For Omar Khan in his first major contract negotiation, getting Fitzpatrick signed quickly was a priority.

The Steelers not only made it clear to Fitzpatrick that they wanted it done before training camp, but that were going to pursue that direction aggressively. That was the process that resulted in Fitzpatrick getting his contract signed on Wednesday, June 15.

It was early, but Chris Boswell and Diontae Johnson will want extensions, too. The Steelers now have time on their side, while allowing Fitzpatrick to be a full-go from here on out. The front office got what they wanted, and Fitzpatrick was on board for the ride.

“This is what Omar and Mr. Rooney wanted to do,” Fitzpatrick said in his post-signing press conference on Thursday. “I guess they reached out a few weeks ago and said they were ready to start the negotiation process. They sent an offer first but we sent an offer back and forth for a little while. I guess this was just one day I wanted to get it done.”

Fitzpatrick and the Steelers saw eye-to-eye timeline-wise as well. The Steelers were not the only ones who wanted to get the process over and done with. For Fitzpatrick, who is going to be a leader in the secondary, it was important to be a big help at training camp. The mental reps at minicamp were good, but he wanted to do things hands-on down in Latrobe. Now, Fitzpatrick will have that opportunity with the long-term deal signed.

“It was important (to get it done before camp),” Fitzpatrick said. “I wanted to be out there with my teammates practicing and competing. Thankfully, we got it done in the time that we did.”

This could be a sign of the first tweak under Khan’s leadership. Prior to this, the Steelers almost always got their deals done during training camp or slightly thereafter. It appears now that buying more time to get multiple contracts done in the period between the draft and the start of the season is something that Khan wants to implement. Given how Johnson and Boswell still need deals, too, it is not a bad strategy moving forward.

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