Minkah Fitzpatrick signs new record-breaking contract with Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have signed two-time All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a new five-year contract; the deal is reported to be worth $73.6 million; "I love the history here. What it stands for. The standard we are held to." - Fitzpatrick
Last Updated: 15/06/22 8:14pm
Minkah Fitzpatrick is staying in Pittsburgh after the Steelers signed their star safety to a five-year contract on Wednesday.
The financial details of the contract have not been made public, but NFL Network reported the deal is worth $73.6m, which would make him the highest-paid safety in the league.
Fitzpatrick was ready to enter the final year of his rookie contract.
He has been spectacular at times since arriving in Pittsburgh via a trade with Miami in September 2019 and was selected to the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team in each of his first two seasons with the Steelers.
"I am very excited," Fitzpatrick said. "I am still kind of in shock right now. It's a blessing. I am really excited. It's just the beginning. I am appreciative. I am thankful. Now I just want to keep on chopping.
"I love the history here. What it stands for. The standard we are held to. The standard Coach Tomlin holds us to, on the field and off the field. The standard of winning play-off games, division titles and championship games.
"I really like it here. I have been playing well the last three seasons, at a high level. I love the atmosphere, the coaching, the tradition. Being able to continue that for the next few years is definitely a blessing."
Fitzpatrick's deal gives Pittsburgh's defense three pillars to build around, as they begin the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.
The Steelers signed reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt last summer and veteran All-Pro defensive end Cam Heyward is entering his 12th season with the club.
"Minkah is one of the top safeties in the NFL and we are thrilled he will be in Pittsburgh through at least the next five years," Omar Khan, Steelers' general manager, said.
"When we traded for him, we knew he was going to be an integral part of our defense and we look forward to that continuing as we prepare for the upcoming season.
Fitzpatrick participated in the team's off-season programme, but declined to do any 11-on-11 work, a decision that Watt made last year while his deal was being negotiated.
Watt's contract wasn't finalized until the eve of the regular season. In securing Fitzpatrick now, any potential distractions are removed, as the team prepare to return to training camp at Saint Vincent College in late July.
"I really like it here," Fitzpatrick said.
"I have been playing well the last three seasons, at a high level. I love the atmosphere, the coaching, the tradition. Being able to continue that for the next few years is definitely a blessing."
Fitzpatrick is coming off a solid 2021. He had a career-best 124 tackles - the most by a defensive back in the league - to go with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
He's been remarkably durable with the Steelers, missing just one game in three seasons while playing 99 per cent of the defensive snaps.