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Money is not the driving force when it comes to motivating Pittsburgh Steelers star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick these days; he wants to avenge the “embarrassing” playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite moving up a few tax brackets when it comes to his bank account this offseason, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is only driven by rage from the “embarrassing” playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
To be fair, the 2021 Steelers were the No. 7 seeded who played on the road in the AFC Wild Card round to the No. 2 seeded Chiefs. While the playoff expansion has been huge from a TV standpoint, no No. 7 seed has ever beaten a No. 2 seed. The last team to enter the off-season in both conferences has so far been nothing less than dog food in the first round.
The Steelers’ well-compensated safety is no longer motivated by money, but only beats Chiefs.
“I do not necessarily think the money motivates us, but just how we behave,” Fitzpatrick told reporters in the wake of him signing his massive contract extension. “It’s clear that last year did not live up to our standards at all. I know myself, TJ, Cam, we were not all happy or satisfied with the way the season ended. Especially in that playoff game, [it] was an embarrassment, frankly. Not our typical self. That is what motivates us. ”
Minkah Fitzpatrick clearly motivated by poor playoff loss to Kansas City Chiefs
It remains to be seen how good the Steelers will be in the coming season. They are a team with great variety. Should Mitch Trubisky or rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett play up to their respective draft status, Pittsburgh could fight in a deep AFC North race. If both signal callers fight, Pittsburgh has a chance to be the worst team in one of the better divisions in football.
The good news is that the well-compensated defense led by Fitzpatrick, Cam Hayward and TJ Watt should be able to keep the Steelers in play. However, this unit delivered an absurd amount of points to the Chiefs at Arrowhead in the playoffs. That kind of thing happens, but for Pittsburgh to live up to high expectations for the fall, this must undoubtedly be a defensive-led football team.
In the end, it’s a difficult proposition to pay three key defenders all that money. If the Steelers succeed, especially with up to five years of control of Pickett’s contract, that would be wonderful. Conversely, the Steelers must avoid being the AFC equivalent of the Chicago Bears, a team with so many amazing players in defense that make so much money that the offense is pretty much pathetic.
The good news for the Steelers is that they are a well-run organization, led by motivated star players.