Derek Watt says his agents kept Steelers interest in him quiet until right before signing

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Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Derek Watt didn’t know that he would be joining his brother T.J. in black and gold until right before putting pen to paper on his new contract.

In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio on Monday, Watt said his agents had kept the true nature of the Steelers interest in him somewhat subdued in order to keep him level-headed during the free agency process.

“My agents had been keeping track, keeping in touch and saying ‘oh we’ve got some teams interested.’ They had a couple listed out that I was aware of that seemed to be extremely interested,” Watt said. “And all along they kind of mentioned it was kind of on the back-burner ‘oh the Steelers, they’ve been talking a little bit. They seem interested but you never know.’ It turns out they were trying to… all along the Steelers were one of the top teams that were trying to come after me. They just didn’t want to get my hopes up because they knew how exciting and special an opportunity it would be to play with T.J. here.

Watt was back home in Wisconsin as his free agency process progressed and his agents sent him the newest offer on the table for his services while keeping the nature of the interest still under wraps.

“So they kind of downplayed it the whole time and come the day I made my decision and had the opportunity to sign with the Steelers, they presented me with the offer without a team name at the top,” Watt said. “So I still at this point had no clue which team it was. And all of a sudden it gets to the end and they tell me ‘how would you like to be a Pittsburgh Steeler?’ And I was like, right there, a big smile came over my face.”

Watt officially signed with the Steelers in late March with two-thirds of the Watt NFL clan now in the Steel city.

There’s a tremendous opportunity there and we’ve had the privilege to play together in high school, college and now the NFL,” Watt said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There’s so much more that goes into it than that. . . . We’re extremely excited, but it’s not the main reason. There were so many positives.”