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Troy Polamalu Considers Cam Heyward a Steelers Legend



Steelers Cam Heyward

Former Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu famously said during his Hall of Fame speech, “The only approval any Steeler should seek is to earn the approval of previous legends who have donned the Black and Gold. And if you have truly earned their respect, they’ll say, ‘You could have played with us.’”

Well, Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward has earned that respect from Polamalu. He believes Heyward is a Steelers legend and could have played with all of the past greats. Heyward played with Polamalu for four years, but it was near the end of the Hall of Famer’s career.

“I had no other influence on Cam than any other predecessor to me,” Polamalu said on Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Chipped Ham and Football podcast. “Cam has been a Steeler to the bone. He has created his own legacy within himself. Some players just have that personality. He is just a joy to be around and he’s a great football player.”

Heyward is a six-time Pro Bowler and has been named first-team All-Pro three times. Polamalu called Heyward, along with T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick, generational players.

“It’s been great that he’s been part of the Pittsburgh Steelers for so long and God willing will be able to retire there,” Polamalu said. “I think he’s the only teammate I have left that’s still playing. I love Cam and I still talk with him all the time.”

Heyward turns 35 in May and has just one year left on his deal, and it’s a lofty price for the Steelers to absorb. His cap hit will reach over $22 million (according to Over the Cap), but an extension could lower that. On his Not Just Football Podcast, Heyward emphatically offered up his take on that.

“I bust my butt in rehab, doing everything,” Heyward said. “I got to let things calm down. Screw the people who keep talking about me getting a pay cut.”

Off the field, Heyward has been a boon for the Pittsburgh community. Always giving back and lending a helping hand. For his contributions, Heyward won the NFL’s most prestigious honor this past season, earning the lifetime achievement award that is the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Heyward joined Franco Harris (1976), Joe Greene (1979), Lynn Swann (1981) and Jerome Bettis (2001) as the only Steelers players to receive the prestigious honor. The honor is bestowed annually to a player who not only excels on the field, but also with their service in their community.

Polamalu is indeed right. Heyward has been a Steeler to the bone. Both on and off the field.