The Steelers have exercised the fifth year option for Cam Heyward’s contract according to NFL reports.
Fifth-year options for Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson, Bengals WR AJ Green and Steelers DL Cameron Heyward were officially exercised today.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 21, 2014
The team had until May 3rd to pick up the option. By doing so, they retain the rights to him for an additional year for a salary of $6.969 Mil. That salary is considerably less than a franchise tag would be, so the option makes sense.
The salary is only guaranteed to injury, and the player can be released prior to the start of the 2015 season without penalty. The Steelers will obviously want to extend Heyward before that time.