Earlier today, the Associated Press released their 2022 All-Pro team. The AP put out their official list on Friday morning with S Minkah Fitzpatrick the only Steeler to make first or second team according to their voting.
However, star DL Cam Heyward was left off the All-Pro ballot, coming in sixth place among DL after receiving 14 points from the voters. Chris Jones of the Chiefs, Quinnen Williams of the Jets, Dexter Lawrence of the Giants, Jeffrey Simmons of the Titans, and Christian Wilkins of the Dolphins all finished ahead of Heyward in the voting.
Shortly after the results came out, Heyward sent out a tweet in response to the All-Pro snub.
“Respect for those guys but man seems like a lot of goal posts moved to make arguments these days. I guess back to the lab,” Heyward said on Twitter.
Cam Heyward had one of the best seasons of his career in 2022, finishing with 10.5 sacks which was the second-highest mark of his pro career since 2017 when he posted 12 sacks, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Heyward also tallied 74 total stops (39 solo), 14 TFLs, a forced fumble, and fumble recovery, and four pass deflections. Heyward also played in all 17 games, playing 801 defensive snaps at the ripe age of 33.
While Quinnen Williams and Chris Jones deservingly took the top two spots based on their respective seasons, the argument could be made that Heyward should’ve been third in the All-Pro voting as he outpaced Simmons (7.5), Lawrence (7.5), and Wilkins (3.5) in sacks. While Wilkins had more total tackles and another forced fumble, Heyward lapped him in pass rush production as well as outdid both Simmons and Lawrence in total stops.
Heyward is a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro, but he arguably should have more hardware next to his name. He was considered a defensive end for the first several years of his NFL career before getting the DT designation, making him more attractive to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro voters as his stats couldn’t compete with top-tier edge rushers. He turned in one of his best seasons as a pro this season but received no recognition for it.
While the accolades would be nice for a player like Heyward who is more than deserving of it, hopefully another snub lights a fire under Heyward to come back producing at an All-Pro level again in 2023 at 34-years-old as Pittsburgh looks to build off a strong finish to the season in pursuit of their first playoff victory since 2016.