Steelers' Cameron Heyward Skips Voluntary Workouts

Cameron Heyward seeks contract extension amid offseason workout absence.

by Abdullah Magsi
Steelers' Cameron Heyward Skips Voluntary Workouts
© Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Steelers defensive lineman and reigning Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, Cameron Heyward, has opted out of the team's voluntary offseason workouts and has no plans to attend OTAs, according to sources close to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

The 35-year-old veteran is seeking a contract extension, with his current deal set to expire in 2025. Notably, this is the first time Heyward has missed an offseason program. Heyward has been a formidable force on the field, amassing the most defensive stops in the league since 2019, with a total of 242, according to Next Gen Stats.

He also boasts the third-most sacks among interior rushers during that period, recording an impressive 58.5 sacks. After overcoming a core muscle injury that plagued him last season, Heyward is healthy and eager to extend his career.

The injury first surfaced during the 2023 training camp, culminating in a torn groin muscle in Week 1, which necessitated surgery and sidelined him for six games. Remarkably, he made a swift recovery and returned ahead of schedule, participating in the final 10 games of the season.

Heyward's Determination Unwavering

Heyward, the longest-tenured Steeler and a steadfast team captain, expressed his determination to continue playing following the Steelers' wild-card loss to the Buffalo Bills. "Of course, I want to play; in my mind, I want to play more than just one more season," Heyward stated in January.

"I've just got to get healthy first. We talk about coming back from injury. I was told it was a 12-week process, and we came back in six weeks. I fought the doctors every week." He emphasized his willingness to endure significant pain to be on the field.

"I just wanted to put my hand in that pile. But the flip side is I put my body through a lot of pain this year. It was about getting to the stadium and going from there, but I can't be doing that year in and year out," he added.

Heyward is currently in the final year of a four-year, $65 million extension signed in 2020, which is set to count $22.4 million against the 2024 salary cap. As he pursues a new contract, his commitment to the game and his team remains unwavering.