Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is attending the Steelers’ mandatory minicamp but does not appear to be participating in team drills as he seeks a contract extension.
A reporter asked Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday if the team had a plan for the safety’s participation in the minicamp.
“I don’t,” Tomlin said, via Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com, “We will play it by ear.”
Fitzpatrick is scheduled to play 2022 under the fifth-year option that will pay him $10.6 million guaranteed. The Steelers do not negotiate new contracts once the regular season begins, giving the sides three months to work out an extension.
Considering what they sent to the Dolphins to acquire Fitzpatrick in 2019 — compensation that included a first-round choice — the Steelers surely won’t let Fitzpatrick hit free agency in 2023.
Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin told 93.7 on Wednesday that he’s confidant Fitzpatrick will be ready to play when it’s time to play.
“I have zero concerns about Minkah Fitzpatrick,” Austin told the radio station, via steelersdepot.com. “He’s a unicorn. He is always in great shape. He loves football. He’s got all the stuff he wants. So I have zero worries about it, and that stuff will take care of itself.”
Fitzpatrick said he is not speaking to the media, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports.
The Ravens gave Marcus Williams a five-year, $70 million deal this offseason that included $32 million in guarantees. Seattle’s Jamal Adams has the highest per year average among safeties at $17.5 million.
In four NFL seasons, Fitzpatrick twice has earned All-Pro and twice Pro Bowl honors, so he has earned a contract that will pay him among the top safeties in the league.