Steelers’ Alex Highsmith ‘still confident’ long-term deal will get done ahead of contract year


Even as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season was a disappointment, Alex Highsmith put his best foot forward. The fourth-year pass rusher recently said he is still hopeful that he can cash in on his career season in the form of a long-term contract.

“I’m still confident that it’s going to get it done,” Highsmith told Wilmington StarNews on Saturday while hosting his football camp back in his native North Carolina. “I’m excited for what the future holds and know that I want to be in Pittsburgh because I love everything about the organization.”

A third-round pick of the Steelers in 2020, Highsmith turned in two- and six-sack seasons his first two years as his role grew. But Highsmith truly broke out in 2022 with 14.5 sacks (sixth in the NFL) and five forced fumbles (tied for first in the league), ranking as one of the 10 best disruptors last season, according to Next Gen Stats.

Highsmith, 25, said in June he believes the Steelers can have the best defense in the NFL after ranking 10th and 13th in points allowed and yards allowed, respectively, last season. But he also said this weekend that staying humble and not being complacent are important parts of being an NFL pro.

“I think so many guys get to the NFL and think they’ve made it, but that’s not the case,” he said. “You’ve got to continue to work harder than ever when you get to the league because [you might have been] the best in college, but now you’re back to the bottom in the NFL.”

Luckily for Highsmith, he appears on the right trajectory. And if he turns in another season for the Steelers in 2023 like he did last year, the price tag for Highsmith likely won’t be getting any cheaper.