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Thread: A. Highsmith; Time to Recognize Eliteness

  1. #21

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    Steelers Expected To Extend OLB Alex Highsmith
    December 18th, 2022 at 10:09am CST by Rory Parks
    The Steelers are expected to extend linebacker Alex Highsmith this offseason, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (subscription required). In Kaboly’s estimation, a new contract for the Charlotte product is “a done deal.”

    A 2020 third-rounder, Highsmith will be extension-eligible for the first time at season’s end, and he has certainly earned a hefty raise on his rookie salary. Through 13 games this season, he has compiled a career-best 10 sacks, and that statistic in and of itself would make him a hot commodity if he were on the open market. His pass rush work is supported by a strong Pro Football Focus grade against the run (70.5) and a stellar mark in coverage (88.4).

    So, despite Kaboly’s acknowledgement that Highsmith has been inconsistent at times, it is clear — as head coach Mike Tomlin has stated — that he is an ascending player who has yet to reach his ceiling. Pittsburgh has been ranked in or near the bottom-10 in terms of total defense over the last two seasons, but in T.J. Watt and Highsmith, the club boasts one of the best OLB tandems in the league.

    Watt, who has played in only six games thus far in 2022 due to a pectoral injury and knee surgery, signed a record-setting four-year, $112MM contract last September, which features $80MM in guaranteed money. While Highsmith’s next contract will certainly not be in that stratosphere, a ~$17MM/year deal akin to those signed by players like Harold Landry and Shaquil Barrett would seem to be a fair ask. Plus, as long as the Steelers’ presumptive starting quarterback (Kenny Pickett) is playing on a rookie contract, the team can afford to splurge on other areas of the roster, especially at premium positions.

    In related news, Steelers defensive lineman Chris Wormley has suffered a torn ACL, per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Wormley was placed on IR earlier this week, thereby bringing an end to a disappointing platform year. Acquired via an intra-divisonal trade with the Ravens in 2020, Wormley did enough that year to earn a two-year, $4.5MM deal with the Steelers the following offseason.

    Wormley, 29, more than lived up to that contract in 2021, starting 14 games, logging a 71% snap share, and posting seven sacks. This year, he was relegated to more of a rotational role and will now enter free agency in the midst of recovery from ACL surgery.

  2. #22

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    That's great news if true, not sure why Highsmith doesn't play the market, he could easily get more than Dupree did.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by BURGH86STEEL View Post
    The Steelers will probably look to extend AH. He's played well enough to deserve an extension. At what price is the question.

    I don't think that AH will be or should be paid like an elite pass rusher. AH is a player that might be similar to Dupree or Bell. Sometimes players are better off, care wise, staying with the teams that drafted them. Even if it costs those players some money.

    Some teams are always willing to over pay.
    Boy does MKIA not know it all, as evidenced by this post. As if AH is gonna leaves millions (multiple) on the table to stay in Pgh. Wake up son. Over 95% of the time, it's all about the Benjam*n's. AH just can't WAIT to hit that FA market. He's gonna go from making a smidge over $1 million to $17 mill. per year. Cowabunga dude.

  4. #24

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    We’ll see if AH plays the market or not. If we give him a nice contract early we may get a hime discount. Sure, he may make
    more money elsewhere but will he see all of it?

    I believe there was a poll asking Steelers if they had to let their sister date 1 player who would it be? Alex Highsmith was the guy who won the poll. He’s a nice dude.. maybe nice enough to leave a few imaginary millions to stay in Pittsburgh.

    I’m sure the Steelers front office will use Dupree as an example.
    I lost a bet about Najee gaining 1300 yards.

    "Our head coach has failed to win a playoff game for seven years in a row. His game day strategy, culture of divas, in game decisions, clock management, player evaluation, hires, and affinity with sub par starters at RB, P, and OL are holding the Steelers back. That standard remains the standard"

  5. #25
    Pro Bowler

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindyCitySteel View Post
    That's great news if true, not sure why Highsmith doesn't play the market, he could easily get more than Dupree did.
    to some it’s not always about the big money…

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sword View Post
    to some it’s not always about the big money…
    probably less than 5% of players

    most go for the big money

  7. #27

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    AH has proved he can perform without Watt on the other side as well so, my guess is that he'll be high demand. Unlike Dupree who never proved he could produce without Watt, he took the money but the Titans didn't get the player they thought they were getting. Pretty sure AH is everything you see week in and week out with or without Watt.


    "Football is a physical game, well, it used to be anyways" - Mel Blount

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindyCitySteel View Post
    That's great news if true, not sure why Highsmith doesn't play the market, he could easily get more than Dupree did.
    That is why when we want to keep somebody we pay them early.

    As much as TJ got paid, if we let him see free agency he would have gotten WAY MORE on the open market after last seasons monster year.

    Getting paid, and a measure of security today, has value versus the risk of waiting to max out.

    In view of the fact that Mike Tomlin has matched Cowhers record I give him the designation:

    The Coach Formerly Considered Less Than Cowher

  9. #29

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    Sounds like this is a done deal. Great move for the Steelers!
    Help me find my post proving I am a Yinzer!

    My early 2024 draft:

    1.) OC - Jackson Powers-Johnson, C - Oregon
    2.) DL - D'Vondre Sweat, NT, Texas
    3.) ILB - Payton Wilson, ILB - NC State
    4a.) OT - Matt Goncalves, ROT - Pitt
    4b.) S -Tykee Smith - S - Georgia
    6.) CB - Marcellus Dial - CB - South Carolina
    7.) DT - Jamree Kromah DT James Madison

    UDFA: P, WR, QB, TE

    We don't apologize for winning!

  10. #30

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    He should be a high priority for the Steelers. Hopefully they can work out a fair deal.


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