National Football League

Steelers' Cameron Heyward, 33, wants to play five more years

May 31

Unless your nickname is "TB12," playing into your mid- or late-30s in the NFL is not as common a feat as some make it seem.

But at age 33, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward believes he's got plenty left in the tank. The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro member shed light this week on how long he hopes to remain in the league.

"I want five more [years]," Heyward told ESPN's Mina Kimes on her podcast this week. "If I get five more … my wife might hate me by then, but five more."

If he gets his wish, Heyward would be playing until age 38.

Heyward entered the league in 2011 after being taken 31st overall by Pittsburgh. In 166 career games, he's amassed 540 tackles, 68.0 sacks, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and two interceptions. 

Based on Heyward's last several seasons, he could easily keep trending up. His first Pro Bowl appearance came in 2017 and he hasn't missed one since.

Outside of his consistent play, the DL has a strong rapport with the media and beat reporters, having been named the 2022 Good Guy Award winner by the Pro Football Writers of America on May 10.

The award is given to an NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. Heyward did not miss a media availability during the 2021 season, and those who covered the Steelers noted he doesn’t avoid answering tough questions. He was cited for consistently going "above and beyond" to build an honest rapport with those who cover the team.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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