The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season begins in six days and T.J. Watt is still not practicing with the team.
The 26-year-old pass rusher has been sitting out of practices since the start of training camp, as he seeks a contract extension but has yet to receive one with the start of the season under way, per multiple reports.
Watt has been with the team, but only participating in individual drills to stay in shape for the season and avoid risking injury until he secures that contract.
This could certainly create for an awkward situation if no deal is reached soon. The Steelers are faced with either meeting his demands or disciplining the star linebacker unless Watt agrees to return to practice for the start of the season.
Watt is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie deal and set to make $10.089 million this season, but has been one of the best defensive players in the NFL the last two seasons, earning All-Pro honors.
In four seasons in the NFL, Watt has 49.5 sacks — including a league-leading 15 last year — 17 forced fumbles and 230 tackles.
The Steelers open their 2021 regular season schedule this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.
LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy Sports
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram