Earlier this week the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to place a transition tag on (what was then) free agent Jason Worilds.
In just a few hours Worilds agreed to sign the transition tag worth $9,754,000. This takes Worilds off the free agent market and allows the Steelers to have the linebacker for another season with all of that coin guaranteed.
Now the Steelers will look into getting Worilds a long-term contract for the near future. Worilds $9.7 million contract is a pretty penny for the linebacker and it would appear that his agents have acknowledged that this is a respectable offer and probably believed he wouldn’t receive much more or less from other teams should he not have signed the transition tag.
Worilds is guaranteed that money and can negotiate a long-term deal with the Steelers. If a long-term deal falls through, then the linebacker will go back on the free agency market next season and will look to field other offers.
This is good new for the Steelers because having Worilds back for another season is a positive. Worilds was looking to be a promising player after a breakout year. Worilds will hopefully provide the Steelers with another solid performance this coming season
But what is good news for one it’s bad news for others.
The Steelers are still fighting salary cap battles and with money guaranteed to Worilds, the likelihood of guys like LaMarr Woodley and Ike Taylor returning are dim.
There’s a lot to wrap your head around when it comes to Woodley. It’s been an ongoing saga between who to keep, Worilds or Woodley? The Steelers are definitely keeping Worilds (the right move) and it looks like they might let Woodley go.
Releasing Woodley isn’t the easiest move considering he counts for $13.5 million toward the cap with $8 million salary. If they cut Woodley, he’d count for around $14 million but his money issues wouldn’t carry over into future seasons.
If Woodley was asked to take a pay cut and did so, then maybe he stays but I don’t think that’s likely. Woodley has been injury prone in recent years and that’s way too much money to be paying a guy who spends too much time on the sidelines. If I’m the Steelers, Woodley’s out.
Other guys come into play when speaking of the cap battles. Ike Taylor should be released if he doesn’t take a pay cut and the Steelers will most certainly be cutting Levi Brown, an awful acquisition from last season. Releasing some of these players will help the cap issues.
There’s a lot of choices to be made by the Steelers, some easier than others. Keeping Worilds was the right move and their fortunate he signed the tag as early as he did. More “cuts and keeps” will start to surface very soon.