Steelers Sign First-Round OLB T.J. Watt

The Pittsburgh Steelers now have all eight of their 2017 draft picks under contract as the team reports on Wednesday that first-round selection T.J. Watt has now signed his four-year deal.

Watt’s four-year rookie contract is expected to total out at around $9,258,810 and include a signing bonus of approximately $4,873,680, according to Over the Cap. His 2017 salary cap charge is expected to be in the neighborhood of $1,683,420.

Being as Watt was drafted in the first round, the Steelers will have the right to pick up his fifth-year option well prior to the start of the 2020 season.

Watt, who was a one-year starter at outside linebacker while at Wisconsin after moving over to the defensive side of the football from the tight end position, recorded 11.5 sacks in 2016. He also intercepted one pass last season and returned it for a touchdown.

The Steelers are likely hoping that Watt can succeed veteran outside linebacker James Harrison in the near future on the right side of the defense. During the team’s recently concluded offseason practices, Watt received a lot of first-team reps at right outside linebacker while Harrison slowly prepares and saves his body for the rigors of the upcoming season.