Steelers Officially Part Ways With Linebacker LaMarr Woodley

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially announced at 4 PM that they have released veteran outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

The move was widely reported yesterday by various sources, but had to come today due to the fact that they released him with a post-June 1 designation, which can only take place once the new league year begins.

In seven years with the Steelers, Woodley has played in 94 games, 81 of them as a starter, recording 355 tackles, 57 sacks, five interceptions, nine forced fumbles, nine fumbles recovered, and three defensive touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2009.

Woodley added another 11 sacks in the postseason, recording two sacks in each of his first four postseason contests, including a strip sack of Kurt Warner to seal Pittsburgh’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

Following the 2010 season, which ended in a Super Bowl appearance, the Steelers signed Woodley to a six-year contract worth $61.5 million, but injuries soon derailed his career.

After a somewhat timid first quarter of the 2011 season, Woodley went on a tear during the second quarter, with fellow pass rusher James Harrison sidelined for that stretch. Woodley notched 7.5 sacks during that span, including two sacks on Tom Brady, but he pulled his hamstring going for a third.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Woodley has never been quite the same since.

By and large, he lumbered through the 2012 season, mustering just four sacks while missing three more games due to injury. He looked to be getting back into the groove to start the 2013 season, earning a sack in five of the Steelers’ first six games, but he failed to record another sack after that.

Then he suffered a calf injury. Then another. The chronic soft tissue injuries had become a concern for the organization, a topic that general manager Kevin Colbert touched on during interviews this offseason, contrasting his injury history with that of Troy Polamalu and how a new workout regimen kept him on the field in 2013.

Polamalu was rewarded with a two-year contract extension, while Woodley is now a free agent.

The Steelers will split his cap hit over the next two seasons. Thanks to frequent restructures over the years to get into cap compliance, the cost is high, but it’s one they had little choice but to make.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Kevin Gobleck

    Vontae Davis just got a 4 yr 39 million with 20 Mil guaranteed. Any idea how this affects our chances at Verner?

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Paul Soliai has also signed with the Falcons 5 yr 33 mil deal

  • William Weaver

    Right decision but a sad day none the less. Good luck Mr Woodley.

  • steelster

    The steelers just saved 25 million dollars over the course of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, I wouldn’t call that sad

  • William Weaver

    Sad because Woodley started his career on a HOF trajectory and injuries have derailed all of that. The right move to move on from him but wish things had turned out better. There is a human side to this.

  • steelster

    yes, I know he could have been great but he was rewarded with a huge contract from the steelers and it’s his job as a professional to show up at training camp in shape and he didn’t do that and was one of the reasons that led to his decline.

  • steelster

    Verner seems out of the steelers price range and it’s too bad. I find it interesting that the steelers are at Michigan state today looking at dennard on the first day of free agency while these other nfl teams are overspending on free agents.

  • William Weaver

    Like I said, right thing to move on. Sad because of what could have been. No point in going round and round over it. Hope Jarvis and Jason stay very healthy!! Lol