T.J. Watt disputes report that he skipped end-of-season exit interview

Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden made an interesting claim on Monday. Interesting enough to get the subject of it to respond.

Madden claimed that Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt skipped his end-of-season exit interview with the team.

“I am told that T.J. Watt refused to participate in his exit interview,” Madden said Monday at the top of his weekday show on 105.9 The X in Pittsburgh. “That he was angry about something. That he just said, ‘Send my stuff to Wisconsin. I’m out of here.’”

Said Watt in response, on Twitter: “Would love to hear who Mark’s sources are. They certainly can’t be myself, Coach [Mike Tomlin], Kevin Colbert or Coach [Keith] Butler. All of whom I met with during exit interviews, prior to packing my own things after a hard fought season trying to give everything I have for the city of Pittsburgh.”

Watt’s tweet implies that there were actual meetings. Madden referred to Watt skipping Zoom meetings. The only way to harmonize the two would be to say that Watt met with someone at the facility as he gathered his things, and that there was a separate online component that he skipped.

Watt, a first-round pick in 2017, enters the option year of his rookie contract, at a salary of $10.089 million for 2021. So whatever the issue is (if there is one), one question hovering over the relationship will be whether Watt, one of the best defensive players in the NFL, gets a new contract this offseason.