NFL Roundup: Steelers LB Extended; Cowboy Holdout; Browns Cuts DT
Steelers outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, once a favorite propsect of InsideTheBirds.com’s Andrew DiCecco, signed a blockbuster extension on Wednesday to remain in Pittsburgh.
Highsmith, the former Charlotte standout and 2020 third-round pick, inked a new five-year deal, the team announced.
We have signed LB Alex Highsmith to a new five-year contract. @BordasLaw
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 19, 2023
Per NFL Network, Highsmith’s extension is worth up to $68 million over four seasons, giving him an average annual salary of $17 million annually, which tops the $15 million annually that Eagles outside linebacker Haason Reddick is making in his second year of a three-year deal.
The Eagles will probably look to extend Reddick next offseason if he has another season like 2022, when he erupted for 16 sacks, five forced fumbles and was a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Highsmith, in his second full season as a starter, broke out for 14.5 sacks and tied with Reddick for the NFL lead with five forced fumbles to go along with 20 QB hits and 12 tackles for a loss.
Back in 2020, coming out of Charlotte, Highsmith’s performance at the East-West Shrine Game caught the attention of DiCecco, who specializes in NFL Draft coverage.
Observe DiCecco’s comments on the Charlotte product:
One of the players I came away most impressed with this week was @CharlotteFTBL DE Alex Highsmith. Relentless motor, good hand usage. Ranked 4th in the nation in sacks (14) and 5th in tackles for loss (21.5) last season. Thought he helped himself this week. pic.twitter.com/aM6Lf1NqnY
— Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) January 17, 2020
TJ Watt & Bud Dupree are two premier pass rushers, but the #Steelers got a steal in Alex Highsmith. He’s been active in his limited opportunities.
— Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) September 15, 2020
Charlotte #49ers DE Alex Highsmith has a relentless motor. He’ll be one to watch for during Shrine week, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets a call-up.
— Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) December 20, 2019
Good call, DiCecco.
Good news for the Cowboys – right guard Zach Martin earned a 99 overall rating on the latest “Madden” video game.
Bad news for the Cowboys – Martin isn’t happy with his contract.
Per ESPN, the six-time All-Pro guard who has only played for the Cowboys “is considering not reporting to training camp” due to unhappiness about his deal.
Martin, 32, has seen others leap ahead of him in average annual salary since he signed an extension in 2018.
Chris Lidstrom (Falcons), Quentin Nelson (Colts), Brandon Scherff (Jaguars) and Wyatt Teller (Browns) have leapfrogged Martin in the AAV pecking order, along with Elgton Jenkins (Packers), Joe Thuney (Chiefs) and Joel Bitonio (Browns).
The ESPN story said Martin’s representatives and the Cowboys engaged in contract restructure discussions during the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
The Browns announced they parted ways with second-year DT Perrion Winfrey, a fourth-round pick.
Per Fox 8 in Cleveland, Winfrey is under investigation for threatening a woman on Tuesday. The story said Winfrey has not been charged.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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