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Cam Heyward won the 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

Heyward is a leader both on and off the field.

He will go down as one of the best defensive players the Steelers ever had suit up, which is saying a lot.

Heyward has been known for being available weekly as he played 15 or more games in all but two of his 13-year career.

Heyward leads defensive players in stops (242) since 2019 and has 58.5 sacks since 2016, third among interior pass rushers.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Cam Heyward has not attended voluntary offseason workouts and does not plan to attend OTAs as he seeks a contract extension.

Below, we will discuss the impact of Cam Heyward’s holdout and whether the Steelers should extend the star veteran defensive lineman.

Cam Heyward’s Holdout Impact

It is not known at the moment if Heyward plans to sit out any games if he does not get an extension before the season begins but even holding out in the offseason will have an impact.

Heyward is 35 years old and had a core muscle injury last year that allowed him to suit up in just 11 games.

He looked slower last year and not getting in football shape at camp could hinder the vet.

Heyward looked slower last year and recorded just two sacks in 11 games last season.

He is also viewed as a leader and his leadership will be missed by the team in the offseason.

Heyward holding out has a negative impact on himself and the team.

Should The Steelers Extend Heyward?

Cam Heyward is among the best defensive players in the Steelers’ history.

He has played in 15 or more games in 11 of his 13-year career.

Heyward won the 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

Heyward is a leader both on and off the field.

He leads defensive players in stops (242) since 2019 and has 58.5 sacks since 2016, third among interior pass rushers.

However, he is 35 years old and is coming off a season in which he had a core muscle injury which limited him to just 11 games.

He looked slower last year, recording just two sacks.

Pittsburgh must address the defensive line position at next year’s NFL Draft.

Not only do they need to address the defensive line position at next year’s NFL Draft but they should not extend Heyward.

He does not have many years left in the tank and already looks slower.

Heyward is aging and it showed last year.

Pittsburgh already ran into this problem with hanging onto a great veteran before with Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey.

They have not been able to find a suitable replacement for either of them.

The same issue will occur if they extend Heyward.

Keeanu Benton looks promising but they still need another one or two younger defensive linemen.

Extending Heyward will not make the Steelers prioritize drafting a defensive lineman when that should be a top priority at next year’s NFL Draft.

At age 35, coming off a core muscle injury last year, which sidelined him for six games, the Steelers should not give in and extend Cam Heyward.

While he is a Steeler legend, it is time for the Steelers to move on from Heyward.