Report: Steelers Actively Trying To Sign Stephon Tuitt To Contract Extension

With a little over three weeks remaining before the Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 regular season opener, the team has still yet to sign defensive end Stephon Tuitt to a long-term contract extension. With that said, work is currently being done to rectify that.

According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers team president Art Rooney II said Thursday that the organization is currently attempting to get Tuitt signed to an extension before start of season.

Tuitt, who is now in the final year of his rookie contract after originally being drafted in the second-round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, has long been a potential candidate this offseason for an extension and it will be surprising if the two sides don’t ultimately come to terms over the course of the next three weeks.

The Steelers have a long history of not negotiating contracts once the regular season gets underway so September 9 is the perceived deadline for them to get something done with Tuitt as that’s the date they’ll travel to Cleveland for the regular season opener.

Tuitt is likely looking for a deal that will pay him roughly what fellow defensive end Cameron Heyward is now earning a year. Heyward, who signed a five year contract extension with the Steelers on July 21, 2015, now currently averages $10,456,200 per year in new money as a result of that deal that included a $12 million signing bonus.

  • Steeler4l1f3

    I love Tuitt, he’s one of my favorite players but paying him and Heyward seems like alot. $20M per year for two Dline men seems expensive. We have to pay Shazier, Bryant and Dupree in the next few years. Add that to L. Bells monster contract and someone will be let go.

    We are really lucky that the roster is young and salaries are low compared to actual value when you factor in production. That luxury is going to run out and we’ll have to start paying folks a la Seattle.

    I hope the FO can figure out how to extend Tuitt along with all of our young stars.

  • I would expect that Tuitt is a higher priority than either Bryant or Bell at this point. He is a more stable player, and arguably harder to replace, particularly in the case of Bryant as the team has had so much recent success with WRs.

  • dany

    You pay for the trenches, look at the oline, and that’s 4 guys with big contracts. This is only two guys, he’ll get his $

  • Steelers12

    i see your point but Bell and Bryant are freaks of natures, i mean Bryant is 6’4 225 and blazing fast

  • Jaybird

    I dig Tuitt’s potential , but I’m not sure he’s done enough to warrant 10 million a year. I think the guy can be absolutely great, but he goes stretches were he disappears. Cam may not have the physical gifts or potential that Tuitt has , but he’s way more productive. I want to see Tuitt reach his potential so bad. I’ve been saying for two years now that he’s going to break out. DO IT TUITT!!!!

  • Ace

    My guess is Bell is in his last year with Pit. I can’t see a deal getting done next year if one couldn’t happen this year. Too expensive, plus the hold out has most likely irked the players and coaches and FO. Bryant I think will be done after his rookie deal is over. If he balls out, he prices himself out of PS interest. If he under performs, all the more reason to cut bait before another off field incident takes place. He’s on his final strike with the league. Hard to sign him to a contract with any sort of significant guarantees. Dupree needs to put some serious work in to warrant any significant contract. Shazier will sign on again and I bet at a more than fair price considering production and injury history (which continues to this day). Build from the trenches, really good DL are harder to find than RB and WR.

  • Jaybird

    I agree with everything you said except the part about Shazier taking a “fair price” . I think Shazier is going to want AND get big bucks.

  • Steve Johnson

    I would hold off on Shazier, not durable at all. They can’t keep everybody, I don’t think Tuitt is worth $10M a year. Better yet, I don’t think he will make that if he hits the market next March. However, if he has a monster season, then of course that changes everything.

  • Eric Whyuwannaknow

    Bell can’t get a deal right now even if he wanted one. The tag he received IS his deal since he rejected whatever long term contract the Steelers offered. MB gets another year since last season was voided due to his suspension. This works for both sides for now as MB will try to show if his issues are behind him and his performance on the field are good which would get him that next contract. Tuitt should get something good though before the season starts.

  • They are, but Tuitt is not far off of that, so I am not counting ability as the main factor here. Bryant’s history and Brown’s contract make him hard to pay a huge contract. Bell is unique in that he is at worst a top three back in the NFL but he also misses a lot of time and sees a lot of touches. I don’t see them even wanting to pay what Freeman got, and reportedly Bell wants much more than that.

  • Ace

    Oh he will want those bucks all right. But will he get it? I could see a 4 year extension worth 26-30. Put him right inside top 10 ILB money. 6.5/year ain’t too bad. But I’m no GM. And he’s no Wagner or Kuechly. Let’s hope he puts it all together this year and stays on the field.

  • I was not referring to this year for either Bell or Bryant. I was speaking long term, just like the original poster was.

  • Steelers12

    With Bryant’s history do u think he can even command top dollar?

  • Depends a lot on what he does the next two years. If he stays on the straight an narrow and continues to perform like he was showing signs of before, absolutely. If he stumbles pretty much at all? No.

  • Jaybird

    Oh I think he gets way more than 6.5 mil. Timmons got 6 million a year. I think Shazier gets double digit millions per year.

  • SilverSteel

    I thought someone would be sacrificed for Bell’s contract but since that never happened, and he copped an attitude, we will part with him next year and sign everyone else. I’m good with it.

    Next year with a more experienced Connor and our WRs, and an experienced D, we’ll be fine. IMO

  • Eric Whyuwannaknow

    Well in that case then I agree with you on all your points.

  • SilverSteel

    They probably see the potential and want to sign him before said monster season to save a few coins.

  • Timmons made over 10 millions a year and Shazier’s ceiling is at least as high. It comes down to what he does on the field and if he stays on the field.

  • SilverSteel

    Yes but Timmons was literally never hurt. Never!

  • I actually think it is highly unlikely that Bell gets another contract with us at all.

  • PapaJuju

    Ben will be gone soon and with that his monster contract.

  • SilverSteel

    Highly indeed

  • Haha, I didn’t even catch that.

  • Eric Whyuwannaknow

    Lol…I was thinking the same. I mean I just can’t see it with the minimum cost alone going up for Bell and then wanting to be able to do others the are due for new deals.

  • Most likely case for him staying is they tag him next year as well and run the wheels off of him. At that point they would likely be looking to get younger anyway.

  • Ace

    I wouldn’t pay him 10/year. Hurt too often. He’s missed a seasons worth of games in 3 years. Of course, Trevathon is hurt often as well and signed a nice contract. I forgot they picked up his 5th year at 8.7. So now, just like Bell, he has set his market. 6.5 too low I agree. Maybe 9/yr? Regarding Tuitt, how about a contract just north of Derek Wolfes? That would work for me.

  • Eric Whyuwannaknow

    True, but even that Tag price will be pretty steep. I guess that also depends on how much higher the cap goes as well so that they can extend others and possibly add others.

  • Depends on what Ben does as well.

  • Romel Roze

    10 mil per year for a DE that does not dominate is a lot of money, especially when you consider that Heyward got hurt last year and the defense actually got better.

    Compare that to Bell who essentially carried the team on his back to 9 straght wins, I am not sure how anyone can say one of our DE’s are harder to replace than our RB that does it all. I guess that is why the league’s salary structure and their priorities are out of wack.

  • Jaybird

    I just hope we can hold this team together for two more years, including Ben. They are going to be special , can win some hardware for sure.

  • Eric Whyuwannaknow

    I already figure Ben into the equation. I’m counting him being back. Just a feeling.

  • Romel Roze

    As far as our MB is concerned, we do not have his replacement on the roster. Only Coates has shown the ability to make big plays and that was a small sample.

    Justin “Practice Star” Hunter is not MB and has yet to do anything in a Steelers uniform in an actual game.

    So, this potential we have at a WR is just that….potential. There is a lot of counting of the chickens before they hatch with our receiving group.

    Hopefully, that potential will come through this year in spades and a trophy.

  • AndyR34

    BIG if! And not likely to happen…staying on the field that is. Few players suddenly get less injury-prone.

  • Nick Sabatella

    If we get Tuitt at Heyward’s value, I’ll consider that a steal.

  • Nick Sabatella

    The both of them also play the lion share of the snaps (more so than other starters around the league)

  • Denny

    I think the general consensus is that Bell will be back on the tag again next year and then that will be his last year with us, and I have to agree with that thinking. I agree with your thinking on Bryant. Shazier seems to be taking on more of a leadership role and unless he misses a lot of time this year, I’d expect him to get top dollar as well.

  • Romel Roze

    Dupree hasn’t done anything yet to warrant a big contract. If the Steelers think guys like Dupree is ready to explode based on what they see I can understand them trying to sigh him to a cheaper long term contract now before he realizes his future value.

    You pay your stars that actually have proven to be top performers. You bring in young, inexpensive talent via the draft and sign guys in FAs that can come in and play a supporting role for a decent salary.

    Can’t pay above average players top dollars and lose your true stars that are in their prime.

  • Ace

    Here here. 2009 was a long time ago.

  • Stephen

    I can’t see him getting close to Heyward money

  • Ace

    I would like to see Bell walk after this year. 14.5m for a one year deal is soo much money. Rather see what we have in Conner this year and roll with him and this stud OL for the next 3 years on the cheap. Or, 2018 FA’s, Carlos Hyde, Ronnie Hillman, Dion Lewis, Isaiah Crowell. Believe it or not, the PS winning percentage is actually higher with Bell not in the lineup, and their total yards and ppg increases. Look at what 33 year old D-will did behind this line last year. Take the third round comp pick you are gonna get from letting Bell walk and use it on another RB as insurance. If they are set on trying to leverage him, use the non exclusive tag on him next year. If he gets an offer, PS get a chance to match if. If they decide to let him walk, they get two first round picks. Who knows, I go back and forth on this more than anything PS related I reckon. Love/hate.

  • Ace

    Yes, if anything sign him to an extension after this season if possible if he shows some promise. Dangle some pretty good money at him and see if he bites. Like AB. They saw him on the rise and signed him to a very favorable contract. Then he blew TF up. Of course, that was probably an all time great by Colbert.

  • pittsburghjoe

    They have several players that will be paid, but you have to remember, Ben will probably come off the books in the near future, and Bell will probably be around this year only, unless Ben plays next year, then they franchise him again. Regardless, it looks like they have around a two year window, after that, it will be rebuilding to some degree.

  • Ace

    He will and he’s earned it. He has a real shot at being better than Heyward and hes almost 5 years younger. My guess is they will give him just slightly less than Heyward. Maybe a respect thing.

  • Shane Mitchell

    We only play the Browns twice a year I wouldnt break the bank to resign him and Hargrave needs more snaps in the nickel.

  • Stephen

    My figuring is in regards to paying two defensive ends 10 million a year, that is where my opinion lies in

  • Romel Roze

    Yes, that was a grand slam by the Steelers with AB, but they are good with spotting talent at WR. I wouldn’t trust them too much with DB’s and LB’s though. Lol.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Yeah right, 2.5 sacks in one game against the Browns last season and 1.5 in the other 15 games. Led the NFL in missed tackles at his position, only Steeler homers think he is all pro or something to the rest of the league he is average at best. He hasnt lived up to his potential and doesnt really fit what we are doing on defense that great anymore.

  • Romel Roze

    I hope he has a monster year. That means we should be ready to do some damage on defense this year!!

  • Romel Roze

    I doubt that unless he has a devastating injury

  • Michael Conrad

    I kind agree with you. I’m not sure he is in Heywards class but you know when it comes to 3/4 DL they do a lot of dirty work for the good of the team. I will let the Steelers decide on what they think he is worth.

  • Ace

    Few things. 1) It’s not our signature on the checks. 2) The money has to be spent. 3) Might as well spend it on a borderline dominant DE. 4) Get him now while his price is low. What happens if he comes out with 12 sacks this year, which isn’t out of the question. 5) There are 28 DE/DT that make more than 9m/yr currently. That’s the market and he is worth it.

  • Romel Roze

    That is a good point. We need to keep our core players to surround our new QB with as much talent as possible

  • Ace

    Well I’m no homer and I don’t think he is an All Pro. He is a stud tho and he will get paid like one. You’ll see.

  • Ace

    Snaps in the nickel?? You saying sit Tuitt for Hargrave?

  • Shane Mitchell

    He has the potential to be a stud dlineman but unfortunately he has produced yet, he needs to step it up big time.

  • Ace

    Cortez Allen. Oh My Goodness what a flop that was. Ugh.

  • Sam Clonch

    This was the second most important contract this year after Brown. Hoping to hear good news!

  • Ace

    Let’s hope its this year right brother?

  • Shane Mitchell

    Yes sir, thats exactly what I am saying, Hargrave needs more snaps, he should rotate in with Tuitt 50/50 in nickel.

  • Ace

    3rd most. Villanueva #2 🙂

  • Sam Clonch

    Disagree. Could have done him next year if they wanted to. Ended up doing it because they’re a class act organization. Not out of need.

  • Romel Roze

    Yes, that didn’t end well. But, I have to admit he did look like he had potential. Just didn’t work out. That didn’t leave the team gun shy though.

  • Sam Clonch

    Then put Shazier in at safety, right?

  • Ace

    Fair enough. Nice to have him and let’s hope Tuitt is next for a fair price as well.

  • Ace

    No No No.. Gay at safety! Cut Golden and Dangerfield and roster Allen and Golson.

  • Sam Clonch

    100!

  • Sam Clonch

    Lololol

  • Shane Mitchell

    Shazier? I have never said anything about playing Shazier at safety, Hargrave is a natural 3 tech, he fits that position even better than NT.

  • Rocksolid20

    Agreed , put Bell at the bottom of that list .
    We have some others that are needed just
    as bad and more ready to sign .

  • Ace

    3 tech yes. A little short for the 5 wide. I like him right where he’s at. Springing off the blocks at that short slow center guard combo. I’m hoping they can stay in base as much as possible this year and keep both on the field. Like to see them move TJ to that middle backer position a bit too. Look for it Sunday!

  • NinjaMountie

    He wrapped his own wrist once so I hear he’s wanting to get trainer pay, too. He also gave out some lifting advice to a rookie so he’s in line for strength coach pay.

  • Rocksolid20

    Not when he can’t stay healthy .

  • pittsburghjoe

    That was classic! Send that to LB’s agent… And if you do, mailman pay is appropriate.

  • Who mentioned Hunter or said MBs replacement is on the roster? You are countering an argument that isn’t being made. The team has found many serviceable WRs recently and showed last season that big play ability is not everything. MB has minimal contract value at present. That said, as I mentioned above nobody is talking about replacing Bryant this year. He has 2 years left to re-establish his value. If he does he’ll move on. If he doesn’t they will likely keep him on a discount contract.

  • PaeperCup

    I keep calling for Tuitt’s break out year. I know its coming!

  • Romel Roze

    We do not need serviceable WRs. Big play ability is the name of the game. Not having it hurt AB production and we needed a 7 game winning streak to make the playoffs and that was largely due to our RB and not the serviceable WRs.

    My point is MB and Bell are more important to this teams success than potential book end 10 mil per year DEs that are not dominant.

    MB last game against a dominant defense saw him dominate that defense. But he was the only player doing anything that game. Our defense faltered late in the game and let Denver close us out.

  • Shane Mitchell

    At one time we were desperate for 3-4 DEs that could two gap, but that was years ago, now we are only in base about 20% of the time and he is replaceable as a pass rusher in nickel with Hargrave and Alualu in base. Dont think we would miss a beat. We were 1 game away from the SB without Heyward last season and we have better depth now.

  • Boots

    I really thought it was going to happen last year, too.

  • Bruce

    I would like to hear Dave’s prediction on Tuitt’s contract numbers.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Get him signed!

  • Bruce

    In 2015 Heyward had his best year and his and Tuitt’s numbers were almost identical. Last season Heyward missed most of the season and Tuitt’s numbers suffered. I would say that Tuitt is pretty much on the same level as Heyward at this point.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    I didn’t think it was out of need either. At least not until I saw Hawkins do his best Mike Adams impersonation in the 1st preseason game. Feeling even better about Villy’s extension now than when it was first announced.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    if we get tuitt signed, then foster is going to have to update his bell picture again. ahahaha.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    don’t foget shazier’s option got picked up too.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i really really hope thats sarcasm.

  • Sam Clonch

    Sure hadn’t, that’s why his contract wasn’t important to extend this year. Shaz needing to get done next year, along with another potential situation with Bell are a few more good reasons to get Tuitt done this year though.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    the funny thing is though. if tuitt gets done, thats tuitt, al, shazier, brown, hunter, knile davis, coty sensabaugh annnnnnd then there’s bell still acting like a spoiled brat.

  • Jaybird

    How much did the Steelers offer Hightower? How many games has he missed over the years to injury( 13)? Also – look at how low the percent of downs that Hightower actually played per year. He has never played 80% of his teams defensive snaps. So if he is worth a 10 million dollar a year offer, then Shazier is certainly worth that or even more.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    You could also live with the franchise number for Shazier I think (assuming you aren’t tagging Bell). I’m pretty sure the tag for a D-lineman would be insanely high.

  • Shane Mitchell

    He isnt, thats just what you would like to believe.

  • will

    Bell will be gone…..so that appears to be the path forward.

  • Terrible Towlie

    just the franchise tag another year

  • Terrible Towlie

    if heyward makes $10mil, i could see tuitt getting 7-9 range

  • SilverSteel

    I truly believe the D is starting to have an identity and confidence. They will be a force this year. They are keeping up with our O in practice and sound confident. Lovin it

  • Terrible Towlie

    Hyde would be great behind our OL

  • TsarPepe

    It’s not that the money they offered Bell is enough to cover two other star players’ contracts!

  • TsarPepe

    And yet, I bet he easily hits 10mil+ on the free market.

  • Frank Cordaro

    I watched Tuitt at his years at ND and he was a monster love this kid, Steelers stole him in 2nd round. A. RooneyII get his contract done.

  • razaard2

    It became a recurring story in recent years that RBs are easily replaced, so people keep repeating. I’m afraid people have very short memories, because before Bell we suffered through a line of below average RBs and frequently injured fumbler mendenhall. But they keep saying it’s easy to replace the best in business leveon Bell…

  • Steeler4l1f3

    Agreed, actually glad he wasn’t signed. He’s an amazing player but you don’t need an all pro RB to win a Superbowl. RB are a high risk position in terms of salary and productivity. Hope we get a good comp pick for him or entertain a trade.

    Originally, I wasn’t a fan for the Connor draft pick ( I thought their wer some pass rushers and ILBs that we could have used) but the FO had their guy and went after him.

  • Steeler4l1f3

    I agree. We can draft a mid round RB and get enough production from two backs. My only concern is that Tomlin typically prefers a one back system.

  • Steeler4l1f3

    That’s the question, is he worth it?. He is super young and I believe his best years are yet to come but to pay him top end DE money seems….

  • Steeler4l1f3

    Good point. Oline is definitely a great example of money well spent

  • Romel Roze

    I hear ya. When the talking heads keep saying the same thing over and over people tend to regurgitate what they hear.

    I am not of this line of thinking obviously. If we had Bell instead of fumblehall in the super against the Packers we win.

    Wouldn’t have had to rely on Ben’s last drive to try to win….that ended with and INT into double coverage to Wallace. Miller was wide open on that play. So close to #7

  • Romel Roze

    Good analysis Shane. Hopefully, the defense will pick up where they left off last year minus the Patriots game. They are improving. Hopefully, this is our year with a healthy offense and a young talented defense.