The Pittsburgh Steelers know they need to build off their defense to find success in today’s NFL.
With that in mind, they locked up one of their most promising players for years to come.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, they’ve agreed to terms with star pass rusher Alex Highsmith, keeping him around for another four years and a whopping $68 million.
Sources: The #Steelers and star pass-rusher Alex Highsmith have agreed to terms on a huge 4-year, $68M extension to pay him among the Top 10 highest paid edge rushers in the NFL. Coming off a career year with 14.5 sacks, Highsmith cashes in and PIT locks in a key player. pic.twitter.com/LnPsB14Jax
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 19, 2023
Highsmith is coming off a breakout season, logging a career-high 14.5 sacks and leading the team in that regard.
He also recorded 63 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 20 quarterback hits, and five forced fumbles (league best).
The 25-year-old is now among the top-10 highest earners among pass rushers ahead of the upcoming campaign.
The Steelers needed someone to pick up the slack with T.J. Watt out with a torn pec since the season opener, and Highsmith proved to be more than up to the task.
His contributions didn’t exactly translate into wins early in the season, but that was mostly due to poor quarterback play.
He proved to be one of the rising stars in the league, and his pairing with Watt, once he was back to full health, was among the league’s most dominant and disruptive.
The Steelers were one of the best teams in the league in the final ten games of the season.
There are still some doubts regarding Kenny Pickett and his ability to lead this team going forward, but they’ll continue to be a force on the defensive side of the field with Highsmith and Watt wreaking havoc there.NEXT: Kenny Pickett Names 1 Player Who Hit Him Hardest Last Season