Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports was a guest Tuesday on 93.7 The Fan and said he thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers will wind up keeping linebacker LaMarr Woodley, because he feels they’ll likely lose fellow linebacker Jason Worilds to another team in free agency.
“I don’t think they’re cutting Woodley,” La Canfora said. “They could do some things with Woodley’s contract to lower some of the cap ramifications, but yeah, I think there’s going to be a real strong market for Jason Worilds. I don’t think it’s limited to 3-4 teams, either. I think there are some 4-3 teams that are intrigued by him as well. I think he’s gone, I do. I think they’ll have a hard time retaining him.”
As has been mentioned in previous posts over the course of the last few days, the buzz about Worilds at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine this past week has apparently been strong. On Tuesday, Adam Caplan suggested that Worilds’ market value will be an average of $6-$7 million per year. The Steelers, in my opinion, could easily accommodate those kind of numbers, so another team would likely have to be in the $8-$10 million per year average to sign him away. That’s not unthinkable, especially if the buzz about him is as strong as it appears to be.
As for Woodley, sure, the Steelers could ask him to take a pay cut in 2014 in order to lower his cap ramifications, but there’s no guarantee that he will. Woodley is scheduled to earn a $8 million base salary in 2014, so how much would he be willing to give back, if anything?
Even though Woodley’s been unable to stay on the field over the course of the last two and a half seasons, there would still likely be some sort of market for him if he were to be released. Not an $8 million market, mind you, but I bet there’s a team out there willing to pay him at least half of that to show he still has what it takes to get after the passer and stay healthy in the process. Would he give $4 million back to the Steelers in order to stay? Why would he if they lose Worilds? He would be holding all of the cards if that happened.
La Canfora also gave his thoughts on Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and his future with the team next season.
“I think Troy comes back,” he said. “He takes a hair cut and comes back for less money.”
I disagree with La Canfora here as I do not believe Polamalu is interested in taking a pay cut. In fact, I won’t be surprised if he is given a modest extension, instead.
The new league year begins two weeks from today, so we won’t have too much longer to wait to see how all of this eventually plays out.