Four Steelers who deserve an extension this offseason

As the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason pulls full steam ahead, there are a number of expiring contracts on the horizon that the team will need to address or risk losing some fixtures for next season.

Here’s a list of those Steelers (yes, more than players) who are due for a contract extension this offseason.

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Mike Tomlin

Topping the list of those Steelers who deserve a contract extension this offseason is head coach Mike Tomlin, who just inked a three-year extension as of Monday that keeps him with the Steelers through 2027.

“Mike Tomlin’s leadership and commitment to the Steelers have been pivotal to our success during his first 17 years as head coach,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “Extending his contract for three more years reflects our confidence in his ability to guide the team back to winning playoff games and championships, while continuing our tradition of success.”

Tomlin enters his 18th season as the NFL’s longest tenured coach with a single team. He is 20 wins away from Chuck Noll’s franchise record, a number he’s all but certain to exceed if his success continues.

Without Tomlin, the Steelers might be a rudderless ship. Despite playing three subpar quarterbacks behind a suspect offensive line backed up by a defense missing starting defensive backs and linebackers in 2023, the long-time coach once again led his squad to the postseason.

That alone is encouraging enough to extend Coach Tomlin as the team forges forward in their third season now without the legendary Ben Roethlisberger.

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Cameron Heyward

The anchor of the Steelers defense enters his 14th NFL season and a contract season. Heyward already made it known he is seeking an extension by sitting out early offseason workouts.

The once ageless wonder turned 35 in May and is one of the best defensive tackles of his era, but missed six games in 2023 (after missing none the previous two seasons.)

If Heyward can return to form, the Steelers should do right by him and extend his contract so he can finish out his career in Pittsburgh. It’s not unheard of for defensive linemen to play into their mid-to-late thirties, though the team would also be wise to look for their future past one of their long-term captains and current NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year.

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Najee Harris

Harris entered rare air not only with the Steelers, but the NFL, after gaining 1,000 or more yards rushing in each of his first three seasons in his career.

Now in a contract season after the Steelers declined to exercise his fifth-year rookie option, Harris will seek a premium contract behind a rebuilt offensive line and a new offensive coordinator.

The only hesitancy the Steelers could have with not extending Harris might be the pending contract of Jaylen Warren, who will be a restricted free agent in 2025. Would the Steelers be willing to pay two running backs?

Regardless of Warren’s status, the Steelers would be wise to get ahead of the curve and extend Harris before a major breakout year prices him out of their budget.

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Pat Freiermuth

Drafted the same year as Harris, Pat Freiermuth’s contract is also up after the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Many may look past his accomplishments, which are hard to visualize with the recent mediocrity of the Steelers offense, but Freiermuth’s stats speak for themselvesFreiermuth’s stats speak for themselves among the majority of second-plus contract tight ends around the league.

As the best option the Steelers have had at the position since the retirement of Heath Miller, look for GM Omar Khan to get a deal done with Freiermuth sooner rather than later.

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