How Much Will It Cost The Steelers To Keep Al Woods In Pittsburgh?

In less than a month, Pittsburgh Steelers backup defensive lineman Al Woods will be an unrestricted free agent and while you don’t hear much talk about him, you would have to think the organization would like to keep him around a few more years.

The Steelers have a lot of time invested in Woods, who joined the team in November of 2011 after being claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. While it is a stretch to suggest that he will ever become anything more than an occasional spot starter at either defensive end or nose tackle, he showed last season that he can contribute some quality snaps at either of those two positions.

The Steelers currently only have defensive linemen Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Hebron Fangupo, Nick Williams, Brian Arnfelt and Al Lapuaho under contract for 2014. Of those six players, only McLendon and Heyward have logged substantial playing time. While the organization still likely feels that Williams can be developed into a starter in time, the other three should be considered bubble players until further notice. Yes, even Arnfelt, who did show a little bit of promise last preseason late in games.

There is no guarantee that either Brett Keisel or Ziggy Hood will be re-signed and that would expose a huge depth void if they’re not. Re-signing Woods would at least help in that area.

So how much would it cost to retain Woods? Being as he hasn’t even played 500 snaps in the NFL since being drafted in the fourth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, likely not a lot.

The Steelers signed McLendon to a three-year, $7.25 million contract last offseason when it looked like they might lose him as a restricted free agent to the Green Bay Packers and he had logged less than 400 snaps of playing time up until that point. McLendon’s deal included a $1.675 million signing bonus.

In the case of Woods, the Steelers should be able to retain him with a three-year deal worth around $3.4 million. A deal such as that would include a $1 million signing bonus and a first year base salary of $730,000, which is the minimum for the amount of accrued years that Woods currently has to his credit. That would make his 2014 cap hit a little more than $1.063 million. In addition, a deal such as that would not make him hard to release next offseason, should that need arise.

That’s a cheap price to pay for someone as versatile as Woods is and we should find out in less than five weeks if the Steelers agree with that sentiment.

  • steeltown

    3yrs for $3-4MIL would be great! He provides good depth and versatility.

  • PA2AK

    would be a good idea. hey…see that Delmas is visiting with the Steelers today?

  • steeltown

    Oh man that would be sweet

  • PA2AK

    at the very least it gives them some leverage with Clark/Polamalu contracts…

  • steeltown

    Hell yea.. Im not sure they’ll even mess with Polamalu’s contract, except to maybe extend him another year to lower his ’14 base salary.. But getting Delmas would be a great move in regards to Clark and possibly Will Allen not returning next season…

    Polamalu, Delmas and Shark Thomas…. nice

  • Matt Manzo

    For that money it’s a no brainer. We need to get back to having solid depth that can start if need be. He seems solid in that department!

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Criminally underrated guy as a DL let alone a backup NT. Arnfelt needs to be on the roster this year and Loni needs to go.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Woods is what I call essential. Not in that sense, but think of it this way: He is good in situations and might be better than a few guys from last year, plus you are getting him at a very reasonable price because he did not yet play much. Bonus! I don’t think they lost much when he was in there.

    So I will give you a choice: You can keep either A) Hood, Keisel and some rookies or B) Woods, Arnfeldt, Williams, Fangupo, a second tier FA, and a rookie.

    I am taking B all day long as you get youth, tons of upside, built in depth, and all at a reasonable price. Guys like Woods, Dwyer, are more important this year, because if you sign or keep the high priced guys you will end up with less depth because the Steelers are so strapped for cash. Sorry I am getting long winded again.

  • Chad H

    Get it done. Looks reasonable for depth and what I saw him come in and do last year. Gives us a nice #2.

  • 243546

    Woods should be high on the priority list. I really liked what I saw from him at the end of the year, and think he’s in the process of turning the corner. Let’s not forget that Woods was a projected 3rd round pick in the 2010 draft. I think he deserves a shot to compete for a starting job in training camp, and at the very least, can be a bigger contributor in sub-packages.

  • shawn

    good idea … doubt they will do it … they will prob sign one year … i really wish the FO would start thinking like a frontrunner and not a has been