Steelers LB Jason Worilds Could Get A Significant Gift On His Birthday

Pittsburgh Steelers soon-to-be free agent linebacker Jason Worilds turned 26 on Monday and he could receive the gift of being the top-rated free agent on the market at his position by the end of the day.

According to Ed Werder of ESPN on Twitter, the Washington Redskins are trying hard to re-sign outside linebacker Brian Orakpo to multi-year deal by the end of the day and are prepared to use franchise tag on him if it’s not done by 4 p.m. EST. Orakpo is believed by many to be the top-rated 3-4 outside linebacker that could potential hit the market next Tuesday and if signed or franchised, Worilds would then assume the top spot with virtually no competition behind him.

The Steelers have probably been working hard at trying to re-sign Worilds, but the former second-round draft pick might be waiting until the legal tampering process begins this coming Saturday as that’s when teams can begin entering into contract negotiations with players who will become unrestricted free agents on March 11, the start of the new league year and the beginning of free agency.

By Tuesday, Worilds and his representation should have a very good idea as to what his market value is around the league.

The Steelers could use the franchise tag Monday on Worilds in order to nearly guarantee he remains in Pittsburgh for at least another season, but with that tag now expected to be $11.455 million based on a $133 million salary cap number for 2014, that’s very unlikely to happen. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said a few weeks ago that while they do have the tag to use at their discretion, it was doubtful they would use it this offseason.

During the recent 2014 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, it was reported that several teams had interest in Worilds, who registered eight sacks in 11 games started in 2013. As of right now, his market value figures to be $7 million a season on the low side and could be as high as $11 million to team needing a 3-4 outside linebacker. There has also been some rumblings that a few teams that run a 4-3 defense could have interest in the Virginia Tech product as a pass rushing defensive end as well.

One thing is for certain when it comes to Worilds on his 26th birthday and that is that he’s going to get paid this offseason. Who will be doing the paying, however, is the only thing that remains uncertain with the start of free agency now just over a week away.

  • cp72

    I think Worilds is gonna be a fine player but I don’t know how you justify paying him over 8 million per year. If the market exceeds that than I think the best thing for the organization is to walk away. We can not trade one bad contract (Woodley) for another. I know that puts all of our eggs in the Woodley basket but don’t think there is another alternative if some is will to pay Worilds 5 yrs 50 million.

  • Jollyrob68

    I’d tag him and sign him to a long term deal. I’m all for cutting Woodley outright or post june 1st. Post June 1st allows them to have money in the summer to sign draft picks and Extend some players. I know they don’t blow up the team but it’s time to Revamp this defense and sign some FA.

  • Jollyrob68

    If his market value is 7-11 then tag him & Sign him long term or allow him to talk to other teams. The Steelers could always except alternate compensation if a team wants to wheel & Deal

  • grw1960

    LB franchise tags have been reported to be 11.455 million. Can’t see it happening

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Okay, i am going left field on this. Let Worilds walk AND cut Woodley. Sign a veteran like O Bryan Schofield… He is only 27 and can probably play for $2M per. Or here is an idea, sign and trade Worilds. Threaten his agent with a franchise tag and get a sign and trade deal done. Package Worilds and a pick or two and try jump up to take Barr or Mack. Look, this team isnt winning the Super Bowl this year, get the cap in order and someone like Schofeld might work and surprise. If Worilds is too much money, then don’t be held hostage, dream trade aside.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I like these times for us as team. Simple because you get the players who really want to be here and win versus the player who just want the money and care less about winning.

    I’m all for guys getting paid since most teams will dump you in a heart beat if your not producing or injured. The Steelers are not that type of team. If you are good and faithful to the team, you will fairly paid.

    If Worrilds have any sense in that head of his, he would sign with the Steelers now that he has the clear of being the number one guy and in a scheme that he has finally grasped fully. The only reason this guy should leave is if he has issues with coaches, players or management. I don’t see any of that so if he goes, it will be strictly for the the money.

    Add to the fact that now he gets to work with one of the best to play the position in Joey Porter and its a no-brainer. If he can’t see that, then he really doesn’t need to be here. Period.

  • harding36

    I might be in the minority here, but I don’t see how Worilds is worth $7 million a year. I really don’t. In my opinion, he’s not a player who provides consistent pressure, and he’s never going to be the guy to carry a defense. I know the sack numbers were fine (for one year), but he disappeared for large stretches of games, and I just don’t think he’s that much of a difference maker. For all of the Lamar Woodley hating that goes on here, at least Woodley was at one time a dominant player who single handedly affected the outcome of games. At least giving Woodley a huge deal made sense, based on past performance. When has Worilds ever been dominant? When has he been the best player on the field? When has he taken over a game? I’d let him walk for $7 million a season.

  • Ken

    The biggest question is will he play like he did after he gets the money. He did little of nothing till this season. All of sudden this year he played with more effort and was much more relentless. To me that was the biggest difference in his game, not so much like he had figured it all out.

  • harding36

    By the way, Worilds had an awful 2.8 grade from Pro Football Focus as a pass rusher. That is not good. Woodley, by comparison, had a 10+ grade in his limited time.

  • SteelersDepot

    Threaten with an $11 plus million tag? Yeah, I bet Worilds and his agent are real scared about that. He would run someone over getting up to the office to sign it because he knows what a bind the Steelers would be in to get a new deal done on his terms.

  • SteelersDepot

    Redskins just tagged Orakpo

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Yeah, I know it isn’t much leverage…but these guys want long-term $$$, not a one-year deal. They want to strike when the iron is hot. All I am saying, when Worilds and his agent already know there could be $50M on the table, the Steelers will give him $11M-plus. and he could lose out on a ton of bonus money. Or if he tears his ACL Week 14 or he struggles with 5 sacks, then his free agent deal will go down the drain. And this is a one-year deal- let him play it out and leave next year. You can get rid of Woodley and have a year to find a free agent or go through the draft.I don’t advocate for tagging him, all I’m asking is- does his agent or Jason want to take the chance of waiting until 2015 for a big contract?

  • treeher

    Wish I had your money

  • 243546

    That would be a dream scenario for Worilds. $11M guaranteed, and 16 more games to prove that 2013 wasn’t a fluke. Imagine the contract he’s get in 2015, if he started 16 games and recorded 13+ sacks?

  • sean mcmartin

    let worilds walk if he is commanding too much money. I’d say its a sad group of FA OLB’s to choose from if worilds is the top FA. He played well for half a season on a contract year.

  • DoctorNoah

    NFL radio reporting Worilds transition tagged

  • Steeler Fanatic

    So is NBCSports. I think this is a great move. It is less than the franchise tag and if some team comes up with something ridiculous, the Steelers say bye. If the market is lukewarm, they can match that offer. The market will dictate what they do. The only way they lose is if he doesn’t get an offer and they have to pay $9M. Can they still renegotiate a deal? And Dave, it looks like my franchise idea below wasn’t too far off. Worst case they are paying $1M then they would be on the hook for Woodley.

  • DoctorNoah

    There’s a catch: if we let Woodley go to make Cap compliance after being on the hook to Worilds, and someone gives him a front-loaded offer and he bails, then we lose both, right?

  • Steeler Fanatic

    That could be the risk. But if we lose Woodley now (which I still think it could be post-June 1), then we might be drafting an OLB. I then wouldn’t be shocked if the Steelers try to get up in the top 7 or 8 picks to get Mack or Anthony Barr. Once Jarvis develops in Year 2, you have a pass rush tandem for years to come that will be not be a big hit on your Cap.

  • Madi

    That may be, but I think even PFF agrees that his pass rush was great toward the second half of the season. In any case, it doesn’t matter what PFF says. Once taking over the left side, Jason was clearly a high quality pass rusher last season, to say the least. Anyone with eyeballs should know that.

  • Steve

    Worlds is worth 5 mil for 4 years, after that he is too old. Sure hope the Steelers don’t break the bank and give him a Woodley type contract.