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Steelers pick up Cameron Heyward’s fifth-year option

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The Steelers have exercised their 2015 option on defensive end Cameron Heyward, the club said Tuesday morning.

The move comes after the 24-year-old Heyward had a breakout 2013 season for Pittsburgh, setting career-highs in tackles (59) and sacks (five). He also defended seven passes. Most importantly, he established himself as a core member of a defense that has desperately needed to get younger.

The Steelers selected the 6-foot-5, 288-pound Heyward with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2011 draft. He was a backup in his first two NFL seasons before garnering a starting role in 2013.

According to salary figures reported last week by NFL Media’s Albert Breer, Heyward is slated to make $6.969 million in 2015.

An Ohio State product, Cameron Heyward is the son of the late Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, who had an 11-season NFL career as a running back / fullback.

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17 Responses to “Steelers pick up Cameron Heyward’s fifth-year option”
  1. keepongronking says: Apr 22, 2014 9:50 AM

    Solid young player.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 22, 2014 9:50 AM

    Really puts the Nick Fairley option decline into perspective. Heyward isn’t nearly as good or valuable, plus the option is a big chunk more expensive!

  3. says: Apr 22, 2014 10:03 AM

    Up and coming young player that really started to emerge last season.

    Heyward plays with a real mean streak and if I had to point to one player on that Steelers defense that I think is capable of stepping up and putting some nasty back in that defense, its this guy.

  4. clashpoint says: Apr 22, 2014 10:13 AM

    Once he won the DE job away from Ziggy Hood he never looked back. The man was a monster during the second half of the season, providing both pass rush pressure and a solid run stopping ability. He’s a top priority for a long-term deal that will keep him in Pittsburgh for a long time. If they could figure out a way to clone him for the other side, it’d be a great idea to get that done asap.

  5. xxxraylewisxxx says: Apr 22, 2014 10:17 AM

    It’s a shame that he had to be a backup for his first 2 years. I really wish the Steelers would start playing their guys sooner.

  6. loveboatcapt says: Apr 22, 2014 10:20 AM

    Not a Steelers or Buckeye fan, but that was a match made in heaven. Heyward screams Steel curtain.

  7. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Apr 22, 2014 10:30 AM

    Unless they told him he can leave to go play with a team that can actually make the playoffs, it wasn’t much of an option at all. I’ve never felt sorrier for a guy slated to make $7M.

  8. troy43mvp says: Apr 22, 2014 10:38 AM

    24 years old. Breakout year came in the year in which they actually played him. Solid signing.

  9. bengalguy says: Apr 22, 2014 11:13 AM

    Can he play QB?

  10. francogreenbradshaw says: Apr 22, 2014 11:44 AM

    He probably could play QB for the hapless never won anything Bungles!

  11. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 22, 2014 11:54 AM

    I hope Terence Garvin takes him under his wing for special teams play.

  12. Nofoolnodrool says: Apr 22, 2014 1:16 PM

    Unless they told him he can leave to go play with a team that can actually make the playoffs, it wasn’t much of an option at all. I’ve never felt sorrier for a guy slated to make $7M.

    He is happy where he is and knows when the steelers get to the playoffs it’s rarely a one and done like the Bungals and could be a Lombardi . Something Cinci doesn’t have any idea how to get one.

  13. stillers213 says: Apr 22, 2014 1:24 PM

    We just need to solidify the other side now. The Steelers were excited about Nick Williams until he went down last season early in camp. Looking forward to see how he brings it this year.

  14. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 22, 2014 2:06 PM

    thumbs-up geno. though $7M/yr for the 2014 DPOY is a bargain.

  15. cincyalldaway says: Apr 22, 2014 3:35 PM

    Its just a shame he has to play for soft defense like Pitzberg!LMAO

  16. steelcurtainn says: Apr 22, 2014 3:49 PM

    Look forward to steel city heyward having another productive season. He’s finally coming around to being the player the steelers thought he could be. Now if they can get the other side solidified.

  17. stoogy says: Apr 23, 2014 2:02 AM

    Last time the steelers made the playoffs they were 1 and done. The only playoff game Tebow ever won in his nfl career came against the mighty steelers. That’s something to be proud of almighty yinzers. On the topic, Heyward is pretty good and this was a no brainer.

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