Tulsa World

Roethlisbe­rger” Give Watt ‘whatever the heck he wants’

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PITTSBURGH — T.J. Watt’s contract negotiatio­ns with the Pittsburgh Steelers have dragged on to the point of distractio­n as the season opener in Buffalo looms on Sunday.

Ben Roethlisbe­rger has some advice on how the organizati­on can make it all go away: pay the All-Pro outside linebacker “whatever the heck he wants.”

While Watt practiced in pads with his teammates on Wednesday for the first time since the end of last season, Roethlisbe­rger urged the Steelers to do whatever it takes to lock Watt up long term before an unofficial deadline passes this weekend.

“One of the reasons I took less money was for guys like him to get paid,” said Roethlisbe­rger, who r enegotiate­d his contract in March to lessen his salary cap hit for 2021.

“And he needs to get paid. He deserves every penny that he wants and asks for. T.J. Watt is that guy who should get whatever he wants.”

Watt, a three-time Pro Bowler, is in the final season of the deal he signed after the Steelers selected him with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He’s become one of the most dominant edge rushers in the league and his 49 1/2 sacks through four seasons is the sixth-highest total by any player during the first four years of his career.

Bell joins Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Less than six months shy of his 30th birthday, Le’Veon Bell is trying again to rejuvenate his career with a new team.

Now it’s the Baltimore Ravens — reeling a bit after J.K. Dobbins’ season-ending injury — who have acquired Bell.

Baltimore signed Bell to the practice squad, adding another backfield option in the aftermath of Dobbins’ knee injury. Bell was cut early last season by the New York Jets, then rushed for 328 yards in 11 games with Kansas City. He did not play in the Super Bowl for the Chiefs. Bell rushed for more than 1,000 yards three times in five seasons for Pittsburgh. He then sat out the whole 2018 season in a contract dispute. He signed with the Jets and rushed for 789 yards in 2019.

Wentz hopes to play Sunday

INDIANAPOL­IS — It’s game week and Indianapol­is Colts quarterbac­k Carson Wentz is eager to get started.

The injured left foot that kept him out for three weeks feels strong enough that he can practice without limitation­s. He’s off the COVID-19 list, which cost him several more practices. And if Wentz gets his way, he’ll be starting Sunday against Seattle.

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