Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) in action against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Minkah Fitzpatrick: Deal shows Steelers’ ‘commitment to winning’

A day after Pittsburgh made him the NFL’s highest-paid safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick said his payday once again proves that the Steelers are committed to winning now.

“The thing I appreciate most about this organization is commitment to winning,” Fitzpatrick told reporters Thursday at Pittsburgh’s minicamp. “Everything we do, even me coming here, is a commitment to winning.”

Fitzpatrick noted how the Steelers originally acquired him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins just hours after learning that then-quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 of 2019.

“It could’ve been a season where we lost our starting quarterback, legendary Hall of Fame quarterback, it could’ve been a season where they just tanked and decided to call it quits. But they went out and acquired me and acquired a few other guys and said we’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win games.”

Fitzpatrick, 25, agreed to a four-year extension Wednesday that reportedly pays him more than $18.4 million per season. That eclipses Jamal Adams’ $17.5 million salary with the Seattle Seahawks.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, Fitzpatrick recorded a career-high 124 tackles to go with two interceptions in 16 starts for the Steelers last season.

Fitzpatrick said the new contract strengthens his commitment to reward the Steelers for their faith.

“These guys trust me with this amount of money, so now it’s my duty to go out there and play at a high level and show them that I deserve this compensation,” he said.

Fitzpatrick has 352 tackles, 13 interceptions, five fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles in 64 career games (59 starts) with the Dolphins and Steelers. He was selected by the Dolphins with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Jaguars LB (44) Myles Jack runs on the field during Wednesday's training camp session.  The Jacksonville Jaguars training camp session, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at the team's practice fields outside TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

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Reports: Steelers to sign LB Myles Jack

Myles Jack reportedly is heading to Pittsburgh. According to multiple reports Wednesday, the veteran linebacker is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Steelers worth $16 million.

Jack’s former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, released him on Tuesday in a cost-cutting move that reported;y saved them $8.35 million. That transaction came just one day after the Jags signed six free agents.

The 26-year-old led the Jaguars in tackles last season with 108. He’e been credited with at least 90 tackles in four of his six NFL seasons.

Jack has played inside, right outside and left outside linebacker in his career. He’s totaled 513 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 17 QB hits, two forced fumbles, four recoveries, three interceptions, 15 pass breakups and two defensive touchdowns in 88 games, 82 of them starts.

He has missed nine games in six seasons since being selected in the second round (No. 36) of the 2016 NFL Draft out of UCLA.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; ESPN analyst Louis Riddick prior to the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Steelers to interview ESPN’s Louis Riddick for GM post

The Pittsburgh Steelers plan to interview ESPN analyst Louis Riddick for their vacant general manager position, NFL Media reported Tuesday.

Riddick, 52, last worked in the NFL in 2013 as the Philadelphia Eagles’ director of pro personnel.

He is a Pennsylvania native and played college football at Pittsburgh.

After playing six NFL seasons with three teams, the former safety joined the Washington staff as a scout (2001-04) and director of pro personnel (2005-07) before going to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Riddick worked as a scout (2008) and assistant director of pro personnel (2009) before his promotion to director in 2010.

A ninth-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 1991, Riddick posted 155 tackles and two sacks in 94 games (eight starts) with the Atlanta Falcons (1992, 1996), Cleveland Browns (1993-95) and then-Oakland Raiders (1998).

Longtime Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, 65, announced last month that he is stepping down after the 2022 NFL Draft.

Riddick reportedly interviewed for the GM vacancies with the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions following the 2020 season.

–Field Level Media

Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) in action against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers RB Najee Harris (elbow) expected to face Chiefs

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris has been removed from the injured list and is expected to face the host Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday night’s AFC wild-card game.

Harris, 23, injured his elbow in last Sunday’s 16-13 overtime victory over the host Baltimore Ravens. He was a full participant in Friday’s practice and the team listed him as questionable for Sunday’s game.

“It was sore for a couple of days but it’s feeling better,” Harris said after Friday’s practice.

The 24th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Alabama product finished fourth in the league with 1,200 rushing yards, which led all rookies this season. In addition to seven rushing touchdowns, Harris has 74 receptions for 367 yards and three more scores.

In the Steelers’ 36-10 loss at Kansas City on Dec. 26, Harris rushed for a game-high 93 yards on 19 carries. He also had five catches for 17 yards.

–Field Level Media