Free Agent Market Value Of Jason Worilds And Why The Steelers Aren’t Likely To Retain Him

With three games now left in the Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 season, a lot of fans are wondering what it might take in order to retain outside linebacker Jason Worilds, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason. In order to determine that, below are a few things to think about.

First off, as far as outside linebackers go, Worilds will be hot commodity on the free agent market along with Brian Orakpo and perhaps Calvin Pace. I didn’t include Anthony Spencer on this list because of him being out most of this season with a knee problem. Besides, Spencer will be 30 years-old in January and when you factor in his knee issue, he won’t be in very high demand. Oh, as for Pace, he is 33 years-old, so that leaves really Orakpo as competition for Worilds.

As you can see in the table below, Worilds is the youngest of the projected 3-4 outside linebacker unrestricted free agents and for all practical purposes, also the most productive with three weeks remaining in the season. If he hits free agency, he will have a new contract from a team very quickly.

2014 Unrestricted Free Agent 3-4 OLB Types

PlayerTeamAgeGGSCombTotalAstSckPDefIntFF
Brian OrakpoRedskins2713135035158.5410
Jason WorildsSteelers25139573918812
Calvin PaceJets331313462917832
Parys HaralsonSaints291362311123.510
Reggie WalkerChargers2613433285311
Rob JacksonRedskins28909542110
O’Brien SchofieldSeahawks26122761100
Frank ZomboChiefs2613212102111
Darryl TappRedskins2990963100
Jamaal WestermanBills281209630.500
Jermaine CunninghamJets25200000000
Anthony SpencerCowboys2910220000
Edgar JonesCowboys2940541010

So how much is Worilds worth? Below is a list of deals signed by the top outside linebacker types that were unrestricted free agents last season.

Paul Kruger – Browns – Signed a five-year, $40.5 million contract that included a $6 million signing bonus and $20 million in guarantees.

Anthony Spencer (DE) – Cowboys – Signed one-year, $10.627 million contract. Franchise tag fully guaranteed.

Connor Barwin – Eagles – Signed a six-year, $36 million contract that included a $3 million signing bonus and $8 million in guarantees.

Manny Lawson – Bills Signed a four-year, $12 million contract that included a $3 million signing bonus.

When you look at the deals above, you would have to figure that Worilds could at least get an average yearly value $5 million, but that would be the extreme low side based on what he has done this year. Remember, there is still three games left in the season and he almost certainly end the season with ten plus sacks. To put it bluntly, if he hits free agency, the Steelers will have a very tough time matching any top offer that he gets from another team.

The Steelers, however, can prevent him from reaching free agency by putting the franchise tag on him. That amount is yet to be determined but figures to be around the $9 million mark. Now, in order to fit that tag underneath their salary cap until a long-term deal can be hammered out, the Steelers would have to clear cap space to accommodate it. That cap clearing would include cutting not only Levi Brown (that’s happening regardless), Larry Foote, Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu for starters and restructuring the contract of Antonio Brown (that’s happening regardless). Keep in mind that the team will also be trying to get an extension done with Ben Roethlisberger during the offseason in order to free up 2014 cap space, but there is no guarantee that will be done come franchise tag time.

For those of you wanting to cut or trade LaMarr Woodley after the season, I have already outlined why I do not believe that will happen. Even if they made him a post June 1 casualty, the salary cap savings would not be felt until after that date and by then the decision with Worilds will have already needed to be made.

Let’s say that Worilds is somehow franchised, he and his agent would then have the upper hand in contract negotiations as the Steelers will be in a hurry to get a long-term deal done in order to free up more cap space.

So what am I trying to tell you in this post? In short, I just don’t see any way possible for the Steelers to keep Worilds past this season unless the Steelers are able to match whatever his best offer winds up being once free agency begins. They will likely have to settle for a 2015 compensatory draft pick and move on.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • T R

    what round was Worilds pick in… what compenstory would that be?

  • steeltown

    ..and yet another player lost to the League..ive been saying for two years now that we should offer Worilds a multi-yr extension which would’ve been very modest at that point. Just like we should get Cortez Allen locked up this offseason, because he’ll be cheap instead of waiting till after next season, but for now the trend continues and we lose another significant contributor

    Im just upset, because again we groom a player and again we’ll more than likely lose them, right when we give them the chance to contribute…which, in turn means we’ll draft more OLBs and to groom

  • steeltown

    2nd Rd

  • SteelersDepot

    He would have been stupid to take it.

  • steeltown

    Still think with his injuries and reduced playing time they could’ve worked something out

  • SteelersDepot

    Best you could hope for and the highest given out is a third rounder.

  • Jeff Anoble

    Worilds I believe was a 2nd rounder. Compensatory picks I also believe start in the third round?

    If we kept Worilds and Woodley, could Jarvis Jones be a good inside linebacker for us? Seems he has a long way to go to get the strength needed to hold the point and stop the run.

  • Eric

    Calling Troy, Ike and Lamar: Help the team, take voluntary pay cuts. Problem solved.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    It is time to pay the piper. Finish the painful transition allowing the vets to go and finish the overhaul of this team. I think we are going to see this team do some painful cuts this year which get this team younger in a hurry.

  • Richard Edlin

    Any signing bonus could have been prohibitive with our cap space … we didn’t really have the scope to resign our young players as we were still trying to play the cap to keep as many veterans as possible on the team.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’ve said all along I would tag World’s and move Jarvis inside. I know it would take a lot of maneuvering to get us under the cap but what are the alternatives at this point? This defense is predicated by good LB play.
    Also Remember when we picked up Potsie in free agency he was drafted originally as an OLB he was okay but not great at OLB. The Steelers kicked him inside and the rest is history. With LB’s Worilds Woodley Jones and Timmons we would be set and could draft us some good young DB’s.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I disagree with Dave. I think we somehow make room and sign him to what, $6-$.6.5 per? If you have to franchise him, do so. If in the long run, they save $2m per on Worilds than on Woodley, that’s worth it. Then cut Woodley (if not traded) after June 1. We have to get off of this cap merry-go-round. Sign and develop young players faster… why does Jarvis and Cam have to take a few years to develop, or Shamarko have to earn his doctorate to learn the defense?!? This lack of player development is costing us money. Worilds took his whole rookie contract to blossom, now we have to pay him. This is a multi-year fix ladies and gentlemen.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I agree. Hanging on to the old vets means no second contract for the younger players that are suppose to rejuvinate the defense. I think Keisel, Clark and Foote won’t be back next year. That will leave Polamalu and Taylor from the Cowher years.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Just wait a couple years for him to come back to Pittsburgh after his other team cuts him — just like Bryant McFadden, Larry Foote, William Gay and Wil Allen

  • HiVul

    At least they got Antonio Brown signed before this year, if this year was his contract year, I’m sure he’d on the way out too so we could resign our veteran players on defense…

  • HiVul

    Still stupid to not offer it, unless you’re happy with Worilds leaving

  • NW86

    Even if they all cut their salaries in half, that only gets the team cap compliant with the current players under contract. They’ll need to do even more to free up enough space for players like Worilds.

  • NW86

    The only way Troy is back is at a DEEP discount off his scheduled $8.25M.

  • NW86

    Depends on the number that would have been offered. At that point he was not a starter and had been injury prone. He wouldn’t have taken a deal for 1-2 mil per year, but maybe 3-4 per year. At that point, we were all talking about 2013 possibly being his last year in the league, so a few million in guaranteed cash could have sounded pretty good to him.
    But, it would have been tough for the Steelers to offer that at that point when he hadn’t proven anything yet. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  • NW86

    The thing about Worilds is, this was his first productive year, and he has a lot of injury history prior to this year. But, that being said, it only takes one team to look past that stuff and pay him big money based on this 1 year – it happens all the time, like what Kruger and Ellerbe got last year.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’d be okay if Keiser and Foote were brought back with one yr deals but only for depth purposes. Clark is good as gone and Troy and Ike would have to take a substantial pay cut or else.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Now would be the time to try and offer Allen a reasonable contract. With the reasons you stated above he might be willing to agree to a multiyear contract with a nice signing bonus. I’d make him a top offseason priority.

  • Mike Carroll

    It’s too bad the front office strayed from traditional Steelers thinking the last several years, devoting way too much salary cap money to too few players and overindulging in contract restructures. They will continue to have salary cap problems until they bring some balance to their salary cap by better spreading cap dollars across the team roster. Paying many quality starters in the $2-6M/yr range is a much better philosophy than devoting $10-12M/yr to a handful of players as the Steelers have done in recent years. I’d much rather pay 2 Worilds than 1 Woodley.

    I’ve documented in previous posts how this mistake by the Steelers is a recent issue. Entering the 2013 offseason, the top ten players accounted for a staggering 82% of their salary cap (worst? or 3rd worst in the NFL). Entering the 2010 offseason, the top ten players accounted for only 51% of their cap. The 2010 team was a SB caliber team at the end of the road, while the 2013 team is 5-8 thus far. I don’t have the data, but I’d be willing to bet the top ten players in 2005 accounted for less than 50% of the cap. That’s the traditional approach used by the Steelers in the past, when they were building great teams that eventually went on to win Super Bowls.

  • MC

    I’m with ya. Worilds flashed talent in his tenure with steelers he just needed to remain healthy and have it mentally click.
    From what i’ve seen of Worilds is that he also works hard and is quite humble, its a shame cause those are the qualities this team needs and now we are gonna watch another one walk off in the sunset.
    I was dreading the Jarvis Jones pick leading up to the draft becuase i always thought Worilds could be the future and that pick could of been used on a stud WR or tackle. Or if i would of had my way – trading down to stock pile some more picks cause they’re are a lot of holes on defense.
    I pray Jones works out although i’m a lil worried about his development.

  • alevin16

    Or like Willie Williams and Chad Brown, after they leave for more money, get used up by the other team, they come back because “they always loved the Steelers and are in their heart Steelers”.

  • Mike Carroll

    Agreed. Not every player is willing to bet on themselves when they have yet to see life changing money. Worilds may have taken $3-4M per year over 3 or 4 seasons with say $5M guaranteed. Would that have been risky for the Steelers? Somewhat, but I’d much rather take that level of risk compared to tying up upwards of 10% of your cap for multiple years on a single player. Those types of risks are not worth taking, except at the QB position. The 49ers have a very well balanced roster from a salary cap perspective and they just signed a CB for about $4M year, even though the CB has never started a game for them.

  • JohnnyV1

    It’s depressing enough to be 5-8, but to think of losing another talented defender (lost CB Lewis this past offseason) is even more depressing. Why are we going to lose Worilds? B/c we are stuck w/ Woodley. It’s one thing to lost guys when your roster is stacked and your team is winning, but another thing when neither of those two things are true, and you still lose them..

    As an aside, compensatory selections are not based on players original draft position, but on compensation from new team, playing time on new team, stats on new team, etc. And also on sum total & quality of FA’s Lost vs FA’s Gained.

  • Mike Carroll

    I agree. There is some risk paying players more when they’ve yet to produce too much. But, that risk is small compared to the risks and costs associated with gigantic contracts for single players.

  • JohnB

    what would you rather have? a OLB on the rise that might play out as well as we hoped. Or Ike, Troy, Brett, Foote, and Clark out there sniffin flowers?

  • Betz Smiff

    Good for Woriilds that he was finally able to stay healthy in his “contract” year…

  • WilliamSekinger

    It’s really funny reading these comments. Most of the people lamenting an unsigned Jason Worilds would have been the first to line up and excoriate the front office for signing an unproven LB with a heavy injury history. Please get real. The Steelers, like it or not do not sign talent when it doesn’t show up until the contract season. It just doesn’t happen. Last year was Worilds’ opportunity to prove what he can do. He was gone before this season even started no matter what he did.

    Another thing that makes me chuckle is everyone talking about Keenan Lewis like the team ever had a chance to sign him. The man wanted to play for the Saints (his hometown team). The Steelers would have had to offer him much more than the Saints did to get him to stay.

  • Betz Smiff

    If they would have signed him to 3-4 mil a year given his “production” in his first 3 years, Colbert would have been hung by his cahonies…… this guy was never on the field so why would they pay him a second contract? They gambled and will probably lose, it happens.

  • Betz Smiff

    Never got this “it takes years to learn this defense”… really? For the love of god it’s football not brain surgery. There are a lot of defenses out there that are based on LeBeau’s scheme, why are other players able to play right away? It’s BS, if they aren’t “smart” enough to learn it then don’t draft them……

  • RW

    As much as I love Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu, I’d be fine with cutting them to keep Worilds.

  • RW

    I’ve been saying for years that they need to hedge their bets by extending rookies a year before their contracts are up. I don’t know what the new CBA rules are with regard to that, but unless someone is an obvious bust or is at a position that is loaded and he’ll never see the field during his career there, you’ve already made an investment in them with respect to time. It’s just good business. You’ll win some and lose some but at least you won’t overpay anyone for one or two good seasons (see: Lamar Woodley).

  • DrakePirate

    Dave, sorry u are very knowledgable, but that was a stupid comment … he could have been easily had for a couple million/year if locked up a season or two ago as he showed at least some promise with limited playing time and YESSSS he would have taken the deal as he was looking at likely no takers after playing behind jones this year and no stats … luckily for him jones hasnt played well and woodley has been hurt

    bottom line is, steelers have not done a good job at hedging their bets on which players they should bet the future on … waiting til they mature is turning out a losing proposition … Allen should have been locked up … just like heyward now and any others they see the slightest potential … its a simple numbers game !

  • Luke Shabro

    That’s really easy to say now but look at Ziggy Hood. He’s had flashes but if Colbert signed him to a multi-year deal everyone would be calling for his head. It goes both ways. And just remember, one season does not a great player make. Anybody remember Victor Butler? Great year last year. This year, ACL tear, who knows how he will be after that. Remember Connor Barwin? One of the most sought after pass rushers last year? What has he done this year? Do I wish we had another year of Worilds? Sure! Who wouldn’t? Do I want them to give him a 5 million dollar a year deal. Nope. If Worilds leaves us and becomes a big time OLB somewhere I will be happy to admit I’m wrong and eat my words. But I highly doubt it. You want Worilds ceiling? This is it. And this is the longest he’s been healthy in a while. We hope that Jarvis turns the corner at least a bit next year and draft another kid in rounds 3-4 somewhere.

  • Luke Shabro

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Potsie was an OLB in a 4-3 which more of an ILB fit in the 3-4 right? I could be wrong because the Jets have changed schemes a few times. Timmons although drafted as “OLB” was a more natural fit at ILB. I don’t think we can assume that kicking JJ inside will automatically make him as good as Timmons. Though I will admit he’s done better when rushing inside. If the Steelers keep Worilds I’ll eat my hat. I believe he’s as good as gone.

  • Luke Shabro

    Ben was still on a rookie contract in 2005. That makes a monstrous difference

  • DrakePirate

    You are proving my point …. like i said its a numbers game … clear and simple … better to gamble with the players u like early and pay a few million dollars a year ..and even if they dont pan out it it is more successful than waiting till they mature and pay top price and more often u lose than u win … this is straight moneyball numbers .. i really believe the GMs are behind the power curve here and not figuring it out … basic math … i agree with u .. this is Worilds top output and he would have been worth it at 2-3 million dollars a year signed 2 yrs ago .. even if he turned out to be a back up or swing … ur getting good value … and if he stars u hit a homerun … yet now he is going to get at least 6 million/yr so u could bet on 3 players for every one and u win … personally i wouldnt take him for anything more than 3-4 million now … just not good value … him at 2.5 million a year ago was good value … just like allen a year ago showed enough potential to sign and get for 2-3 million …. now what wtf are they waiting for … they have no upside at all in waiting … GM stupidity at its finest …

    You say Ziggy Hood , i disagree with u he could have been had cheap last year and i think he is worth a decent price … why not keep him cheap, they wouldnt have had to overpay him so ur example doesnt really hold water ..

  • sean mcmartin

    So much for building through the draft. the Steelers groom high draft picks and let them go when they get the hang of it. and they don’t pursue Any decent free agents,
    guess it doesn’t matter if they have a good coach or not.

  • T R

    Then we need to cut or redo any contract we have to keep worilds.. its not one veteran player beside ben and antonio and heyward that is more important to us then worilds right now.. I would cut troy ike and clark to keep Worilds.. Yeah i said it.. now what.. LOL

  • WilliamSekinger

    Not at all. The process is the Steelers filter for players only out for a pay day. No contract if you can’t prove yourself BEFORE your contract season. It’s actually worked out very well for them. Why break the bank for Worilds who gave the team none of his heart, none of his blood, sweat and tears? There is another OLB (or DE) in this years draft. Let some other team break the bank for a player who doesn’t show anything until a contract year.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    What fresh cap hell is this? I knew they were going down the wrong road years ago. In the old days, star LB’s would leave and the next man up was even better often. When they started trying to keep them, I figured it would lead to trouble. But never EVER did I think it would get this bad. I mean if it takes all that just to sign him, then how the hell are they supposed to get or keep anyone else?

    If it’s that bad a situation, then perhaps just keep Ben, and get rid of all the other vets. Seriously! All of the high priced talent out the door. Take the big laxative and flush them. The alternative is years of mediocrity. Hell, even the Browns have a good defense, a decent O line, some talent at skill positions, lots of draft picks and are only in need of a great QB to start really competing. I’ve been a Steelers fan since I was a little kid and always will be, but when I start envying the Browns’ future I know we’re in trouble. The Steelers that is.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Worilds has not suddenly blossomed…he wants paid. He was drafted to replace an aging and often hurt James Harrison and he failed to get reps because Harrison was consistently better even though he was old and hurt.

    He was beat out just this year for the starting spot in training camp by a rookie for crying out loud, yet everyone is screaming for the Steelers FO to pay him.

    I don’t get it.

  • Andrew

    If you want to keep Worilds and are following him on Twitter, you are absolutely not heeding his advice to vote him to the Pro Bowl. Thank you in advance.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’m not sure of the jets scheme at the time it could have been a 4-3 but Farrior was the 8th overall draft pick of the 1997 draft. Jets had high hopes on him but let him go after his rookie contract. I know it’s probably a reach but the Steelers D needs quality OLB’s and right now Worilds is on fire. if they can find a way to keep him and move JJ inside it’s worth a try JJ looks like he’s just gonna get pushed around as an OLB but as an ILB he has made some plays especially rushing the passer.

  • Jerronimo

    Goodbye Worilds. Remember, he has only shown for a few weeks. What happens when teams get more tape on him and counter what he does?

  • cencalsteeler

    I have to agree. That’s the job of the scouts, coaches and GMs. It’s basically an extension to how organizations play the draft. The FO needs to play this business like the game of chess, too. If they’re not planning their moves in advance, the advantage then goes to the player and they now control the bargaining chip. Bad way to play the game if you ask me. You are giving up your power and passing the baton of power over to the players agent.
    And though Lukes comments are valid, he must acknowledge the fact that there is an equally shared risk when drafting a player and/or signing an extension contract.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Exactly…. very well said.

  • Bob Graff

    We have to rebuild with the thinking that the the playoff will be possible in 2-3 years other wise we will spin our wheels forever. Like i have said in previous posts the stars of the future are not on the roster yet. The salary of this team needs to be fix we are still paying for the team we had 3 years ago.

  • Weiss Chad

    If colbert would have extended worilds before this year all you guys wiyld be calling for his head.Everyone was saying he was a bust, and his obly sack came from running around a tackle.I personally thought he was highly injury prone.He imo has been more productive in short time than woodley ever ever has on left side.Its sad just like k lewis and m wallace its young early productive players that do to different circumstances cant keep.It hurts because imo our to best players heyward and worilds started on bench

  • Rick M

    So offer him much more than the $4.5 mIllion New Orleans gave him. For goodness sakes, they’re paying a 33-year-old CB who’s lost a step and who is nowhere near as good $7 Million.

    I just don’t get this type of fan apathy as the future of the team walks away in free agency. We’re paying a ton of money to vets who will be of absolutely no use to us in two years. Meanwhile Lewis and Worilds will be in the prime of their careers and likely Pro Bowlers with other teams.

    Talk about the wrong way to build a football team. Kevin Colbert has it aced.

  • Andrew

    LOL. The amount of hindsight going on this thread is hilarious. So many of you are apparently fortune tellers and were able to see this month-old LOLB Worilds years ago. How are your stock portfolios coming along? And who should we lock up before they become the next Worilds? Curtis Brown? Chris Carter? Gilbert? Gilbert will be a UFA in ’15 and he’s really showing some promise — should offer him a “modest” multiyear extension, right?

  • http://www.michaelkreynolds.com/ Michael K. Reynolds

    What a great article. Well done Dave!

  • CommonSenseGoneWild

    So the apparently the Steelers are such bad shape with respect to the cap that they may have to let loose a young and up coming player for the second year in a row. It would be one thing if the team had played well the past two years but instead they have been mediocre at best. What exactly are the Steelers paying for? I of maybe 4 or 5 players on offense and 3 or 4 players on defense I would want to not lose to FA.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Lewis is really lighting up the secondary in NO with his 39 tackles and 3 interceptions this year. If we only had paid him big money the Steelers would be in the Superbowl! Give me a break. We are getting better value out of William Gay right now.

  • joed32

    It was definitely a 4-3.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Thanks I wasn’t sure about the scheme. We gotta find a way to keep this LB core intact. The only plays i’ve seen JJ make is mostly at the ILB. If Worilds walks then there is ZERO depth behind Jones. Carter=Nothing Sylvester= Career ST’s and no one else sees the field. We would be wasting a draft pick on another LB when we could use big time help in the secondary and D Line.

  • steeltown

    Agreed, he needs to be offered a deal before next regular season because he will be the starter next year and if he breaks out we’ll lose him like we did Lewis

  • Ahmad

    After seeing the drop off in secondary play after Lewis left, I say the Steelers need to do whatever they have to do to make sure Worilds stays.Even if that means letting go of some high priced vets, do it.

  • Bob Graff

    What he does is tackle well and in today’s NFL that will get you a big payday.

  • ATL96STEELER

    This is the residue from all of those contracts paid to aging stars players that got the 5th & 6th titles after a long draught…still some fallout remaining…on the plus side I will say as painful as it is now, it was worth the ride, and I’m glad A Smith, Hampton, Ward, Keisel, Troy, Ike, et al got paid going out, because the era before them really didn’t.

  • ATL96STEELER

    I’m happy for Worilds…he bid his time, I would like to see him make the big $ here, but it’s doubtful unless they really dig deep. Jarvis Jones is going have to grow fast…imo this has been a disappointing year for him, but he’s learning.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Steelers have spent a lot of future money to keep key players…and now that these guys are not superstars, Steelers have zero depth as a result of these big contracts and it’s hurting them. might be time to cut most of these guys and pay no bonuses in 2014. Reset the dead money to zero rather than pushing it out…and then select Jameis Winston with the first pick in the 2015 draft:(

  • CrazyTerry

    Cant blame Colbert for Worldis and Woodley situations. Who could have thought Woodley would have one mini hot streak and nothing else in the last 3 years.And who would have thought Worldis would go on such a tear even if many knew he was better on the left side.
    But dead money Is overrated, Suck it up and cut Woodley. So what if you have more cap problems next year. Your cap situation inh 2015 is much better. I have said it before. The cap problems are self imposed as Colbert made a bunch of unwise decisions in extending players in recent years(Farrior, not renegotiating with Troy, not trying to trade Ike and retain K LEwis, and a bunch of other mistakes).

  • CrazyTerry

    He would be too expensive to franchise and too risky considering his injury situation. Let’s hope other teams are scared off by his injury history and limited success in other positions and Steelers get him for 5M a year. If they do, suck it up and cut Woodley , Ike and get Troy to take 2M or cut hinm too.

  • CrazyTerry

    Signing bonus is preferable as it gets prorated.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Dead money is overrated when you’re winning, but not so much when you’re not making the playoffs…but, sometimes you have admit you made a mistake and cut your losses…I agree cut Woodley…not b/c he can’t play, but financially he doesn’t make sense for this team.

  • Rick M

    If you had watched the New Orleans’ games you would know that they are not throwing to Lewis’s side that much, as he tends to blanket receivers. You can have your 33-year-old Ike Taylor and William Gay as well for that matter (although he has played better than Taylor in recent games). I’ll take Lewis in a heartbeat.

    Keeping good young players on their second contract is critical to a team’s long-term success. As for Jason Worilds having a “heavy injury history” I have no idea what you’re talking about. He’s in Year 4 and other than his wrist injury at the start of last season, I don’t know of any other significant injuries he’s suffered. This “heavily injured guy’ has been available for all 13 games this year.

  • Rick M

    I tend to agree that no one had great expectations for Worilds in 2013. He showed some promise from the left side prior to this year, but not enough to warrant a major extension after last season.

    The Steelers should at least make some effort to keep him however (i.e. make an offer). Don’t let him just walk away without contemplating whether some of the older, big-salaried players are worth retaining – as those players won’t do the team any good two years from now.

  • Alan Felicia

    By end of next season, they will need to pay Kaepernick. There goes their cap.

  • Alan Felicia

    Thank you!!!! Its about time someone make sense! One of the best motivation is $$$! Look, good for Worilds! However, God forbids Colbert overpays for Worilds and he go back to his old ways (injuries or lack of production), this board would DESTROY him like Woodley!
    Speaking of Woodley, if he gets another injury season next year, he’s Gone!

  • JC Chuta

    Worilds is gone, period. Not because they can’t afford him, but cause he’s always hurt!

  • Alan Felicia

    Another fan that gets it! And, all of a sudden, Keenan Lewis is a stud that Pittsburgh let go? Lewis did the same thing last season and cashed in! Currently at NO, he mostly covers the other teams 2nd best WR and a defense that is ranked 3rd in Sacks. Bottom line, Lewis is average at best but good for him for cashing in.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I love how every fan on this site claims they knew Worilds was gonna break out and would have signed him. Pure and simple he was an unproven guy that we all HOPED would have a good season IF it would help us WIN. Now we are a LOSING team and everyone is pissed he did a good job and now he is gonna be hard to retain. If the FO signed him to a deal and he didn’t pan out and Jarvis did then everyone would be bad talking the FO for signing him.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I agree about Lewis, Ike still showed last year he can handle the top WRs in the league. Cortez showed a knack for creating turnovers and they signed Will Gay to a cheap deal. There was no need for Lewis who keep in mind had no INTs last year. They had no way of knowing Ike would lose a couple steps this season, by watching him play and knowing how hard he works I’m surprised about Ike too.

  • Mike Carroll

    Sure, the team benefitted from Ben being on his rookie deal then. I picked 2005 as a reference year that was 5 years earlier and they won their first recent SB then. To better state my point, I should say that I would bet the Steelers top ten players accounted for less than 50% of their salary cap in most, if not every year, before 2010.

    Can a team still accomplish the type of salary cap balance I’m advocating while carrying a franchise QB? My answer would be yes and I think QB is the only position worth a large cap hit. But, a team is not going to be able to achieve that salary cap balance when they have several other cap hits north of $8M every year.

  • Mike Carroll

    The Steelers might have had both Lewis and Gay for the price of Ike! That would have been awesome.

    Unfortunately, the Steelers pay a very real and stiff penalty by continually pushing cap money into future years on specific contracts (through prorated signing bonuses and repetitive restructures. Of course, those tactics are necessary to temporarily “afford” bad, oversized contracts when they are first signed). Last offseason, they had to keep Ike or take a dead money hit of almost $10M. For a 33 y.o. old CB! That’s bad cap management. That’s likely the only reason the team made no attempt to sign Lewis. Whether Lewis might have still gone to his hometown is another matter entirely.

    This year, a similar problem is playing out with Worilds and Woodley. A gigantic mountain of dead money on a player who has underwhelmed for 3 straight seasons. And now a younger, possibly better (right now) and cheaper option could be headed elsewhere.

  • Betz Smiff

    Agree, he was hardly on the field the past 3 years… unless he was dumb enough to sign for next to nothing he was not worth a new contract before the season….. not so sure he is worth it now…. that remains to be seen

  • Betz Smiff

    LOL can’t afford two LOLB’s that can’t stay on the field

  • Richard Edlin

    … and the reason we’re ‘stuck’ with Woodley is that we’ve been up against the cap, and had to base his contract on a pro-rated signing bonus that makes cutting him near-impossible. I’d be interested to know just how tough it would be to cut Taylor too … I thought his mid-season restructure effectively stopped this.

    I’m really not sure how much flexibility we have this off season – we’ve made several very expensive players essentially impossible to cut. Some cuts from the roster are pretty clear (Levi Brown), as are some expiring contracts. However, I’m worried this is another off-season where we get deeper in the mire rather than addressing the problems in the management of the salary cap.

    If we need to, I’d prefer to cut a large number of players and get this sorted out to move forward healthily and in control of the cap, We’re just hostages to fortune at this point …

  • Betz Smiff

    I think unless Woodley plays like he did his first couple years, injured or not he’s gone in 2015.

  • Mike Carroll

    It sure won’t help their cap, but it does not doom them to cap misery. As far as I’m concerned, QB is the only position worth a large cap hit. Cap misery comes when a handful of non-QB players eat up a vastly disproportionate amount of your cap.

  • Don

    Great! Another Nate Washington and Keenan Lewis..Spend all the time to get them where they need to be and then their gone…

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Totally agree…we let 2 young players go to keep our senior citizens happy on this team to begin the year. Will we continue this trend or get smart? This is a young mans game.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If we do not start resigning our own draft picks we will not be a decent team for many years.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Every…lol…I think a lot of fans thought Worilds played okay when he did play as a fill in, but I know I’m surprised…good for him. Get paid.

  • NW86

    LOL

  • Wayne Henson

    Agreed. We have to keep the young Studs, do whatever it takes!

  • Alan Felicia

    Kaepernick, Frank Gore, and Aldon Smith’s contracts are up in 2014.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Can the Franchise Tag be placed on JW ? What are the implications of doing so?

  • Russ Ruffing

    instead of using the Ostrich head in the sand method of “we don’t negotiate during the season,” here’s an idea…get a deal done with him now while you still have some leverage on your side, such as a potential injury in the remaining games…

  • Asmitty56

    Couldn’t the Steelers give Worilds a high signing bonus so he get’s his pay day to offset the Steelers structuring his contract so he has a low first year salary. Similar to the deal Kruger ironed out with the Browns. That way We have Worilds for the foreseeable future, after 2014 Woodley’s contract is more manageable and they can try to get him to take a pay cut or release/trade him. The question is can they resign him and Hood along with some other minor signings.

  • Asmitty56

    With how things are going for the defense, we may not have to worry about Jones holding the point or “stopping” the run. With the Steelers playing more and more 4-3 under defense they can have Heyward play 5 tech, two gap over the LT and demanding that the tackles accounts for him, that leaves Jones either in space to get to the QB or containing the run or one on one on a TE. If Jones can get to a decent weight around 250 to 255, work on his lower body and some upper body strength, and work on his hand usage (martial arts classes would do him a lot of good). I think that would do him a lot of good, he’s not going to be a power OLB, his career is going to be about being quicker than the OT and using pass rushing moves.

  • Asmitty56

    Signing guys like Allen or Heyward really does not help the cap right now. By the end of 2015 almost all of Keisel, Foote, Clark, Taylor, and Polamalu will be gone. And the Steelers only large contracts will likely be Roethlisberger, Timmons, and Woodley’s. I’d expect Woodley to either take a pay cut or be cut, and Roethlisberger may get extended. Hopefully Worilds and Hood’s contracts are more manageable. So with all those cuts it should be easier to sign Allen and Heyward, ect. Also remember they still have the 5th year option for Heyward plus a franchise tag.

  • Asmitty56

    Either way Jones will have to bulk up a bit to allow him to shed linemen and get to the ball carrier if he were to play inside. He plays well in space so there is that and looks comfortable in coverage. I still say the hybrid 4-3 under is the way to go. The DE takes most of the focus on the inside of the tackle and the guard and it gives Jones space to work and either contain the outside against the run or get to the QB. I’d say Jarvis compares pretty favorably to Seattle’s Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons. Irvin has a bit better of a first step and pass rushing moves, and Clemons is a bit bigger. Jones can add at lest 5-10 pounds and work on his hand usage then he could be that kind of player.

  • Rick Eger

    3rd. round.

  • Rick Eger

    Why is the salary cap so low? I mean 127 million dollars is a lot of money, but when you have a 46 man roster it’s not enough.

  • steeltown

    True, but as you know the contracts can contain low base salaries initially,, those contracts are always cap friendly in the first year or two

  • Fr33th1nk3r

    I cannot believe that we have managed our cap this badly. Worilds was all but invisible his first four seasons, spending most of that time injured or looking out of place.
    Then, we finally play him on the last year of his contract, he has a DESCENT (not “breakout” good) season, and now……we already cannot afford to keep him? WTF?

  • Bradley Campbell

    The simple fact of the matter is we did not have the cap flexibility to re-up these three young men to 3-4-5 million per year. We let the old vets stick around to long for one last run-which never happened. We are paying and will be paying for those sins for a while.

  • Bradley Campbell

    Well said and completely agree

  • Nathan Shrift

    I think your totally way off base, Dave. The Steelers could easily retain Worilds. A few cuts and paycuts on the roster. You just need to do the homework rather than looking at the overall cap number. I think it is a guarantee Woodley will be a JUne 1st cut of 2014 so the Steelers have money to sign their rookies.