Will Jason Worilds Stay in Pittsburgh?


Maybe that is a rhetorical question there in the headline, but I think it’s one worth asking isn’t it? Will Jason Worilds stay in Pittsburgh?

For many of you, it’s an easy answer but I suspect more and more that it may not be that simple when you consider a number of factors.

I’m not at all suggesting that Worilds doesn’t deserve a new contract because he was certainly this team’s best outside linebacker in 2013.

He started 11 games and collected a team high eight sacks and forced two fumbles.

I have concerns about him though and I don’t think I’m alone.

Prior to this year, Worilds had been troubled by injuries in his first three seasons. When he did play, he wasn’t anything special as he collected just five sacks in his first two years before equaling that total last season. 

This past season was obviously his best one but he still missed the final game with an injury. That begs the question of how much can you afford to a pay a guy who has a history of injuries? Perhaps I’m gun-shy because of LaMarr Woodley.

Since signing his $60 million deal, Woodley has seen the field less than almost anyone in a black ‘n gold jersey and that has been due to injury and an inability to stay in proper football shape. Could the same fate befall Worilds once he gets a nice, new deal?

Deciding whether Worilds is worth re-signing might require some guesswork on our part. If we assume the Steelers cut Woodley, which may happen early in the offseason or after June 1st, then keeping Worilds almost becomes a must regardless of what he demands.

The problem there is that the Steelers aren’t exactly rolling in the dough for 2014. Can they even afford what he and his agent may demand in the first place?

We know that Jarvis Jones will anchor the right side and if Woodley is released then that leaves us with Chris Carter who is a nice player but not in the realm of Worilds or even an at 50% Woodley.

Don’t bother suggesting the team let Worilds walk because “they will draft another OLB and play him immediately.” What Dick LeBeau was forced to do with Jones last year was much more an exception for rookies than the rule. LeBeau just doesn’t like playing rookies.

Clearly in a scenario where Woodley is cut, Worilds holds all the cards, but should Woodley be kept on, then Worilds may no longer be needed. Why? Because he isn’t going to sign a new deal to be a back-up again. Worilds has proven he can play and will want to start and I totally understand that.

This will be an extremely interesting decision the Steelers will have to make in regards to both Worilds and Woodley. As fans, we should not be surprised by anything and for many reasons.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.

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10 comments on “Will Jason Worilds Stay in Pittsburgh?

  1. Not really, Jarvis Jones isn’t guaranteed to be a starter just because he was a first round draft choice. Jarvis can spend another year as the rotational player just as other LB have had to wait & earn their time. Same thing was true of Worilds he had to wait his time due to Harrison & Woodley.. That’s not Worilds fault that’s Dick LeBeau’s bias and system.
    I love Dick LeBeau but would love a DC who is going to play the best players he has and not just the one who are Veterans. That being said I want Woodley to adjust his contract to help the team and I want Jason Worilds resigned. If Woodley can comeback healthy and participate in OTA’s I’d be ok with him being a draft day trade.

  2. I really liked Woodley in the past and I currently really like Worilds. But, are they benefiting from the defensive scheme? I mean, are they really deserving of all pro contracts? We are deep at linebacker and won 6 out of the last 8 games with a rotation. Next year with Foote and Spence potentially returning and another camp to coach up JJ, maybe we can absorb the hit of losing both Worilds and Woodley. Obviously it would be perfect to cut Woodley and give Worilds a nice contract. But if that can’t happen, I’d hate to see the Steelers handcuffed by big contracts at OLB when we need help at other positions. What if we can’t afford Worilds and we keep Woodley because of his 60 mil contract and then he gets hurt again? It is an interesting predicament; I hope the Steelers have a way to make it work.

      • I agree but I am pleased with most draft pics. Ben, Heath, Troy, Hampton,Timmons were first rate 1st round choices. Heyward and JJ are coming around. Hood is solid but a little underwhelming. Our latest draft with JJ, Le’Veon, Shamarko, Vince Williams was very good. We are missing the “no namers” like Harrison, Greg Lloyd, Aaron Smith types. (Hard working guys from smaller schools with less press coverage). Are we too in love with big names (Pouncey) for example gets pro bowl recognition but was capably replaced by Velasco and Wallace. I like Pouncey but I prefer the guys that have a chip on their shoulder. Once in a while pick up a Farrior or Bettis from free agency.
        I feel like you do about the front office but coming off of the recent 3 super bowl appearances it was either give uncharacteristically large contracts or cut championship quality guys. It is surprising how quickly Woodley has faded while Troy, Heath & Ben were worth the big money.
        I hate to already look towards next year but we have no choice. We should have continuity at HC, OC and DC, good players and a lot of depth. With some physicality and a more Steelerlike defense and running game we have the team to make the playoffs. BUT we need a strong draft, a high tier free agent, and better coaching to go deep. I am confident that we can make the playoffs but can we beat NE, SF, Seattle or Denver? (Particularly when the OC calls passing plays on 1st down when we have the ball and the lead in the second half). Run the ball Haley!!! (when you have the lead, rest the defense, run out the clock!!)

  3. People some times become enamored by stats and don’t look at the big picture. I have recorded and watched many pittsburgh steeler games and if you watch closely you will find that Worilds had been our best OLB inn pressuring the QB over the last two seasons. To let him go would be a step in the wrong direction. We need to stop developing talent and letting it go, I.e. Keenan Lewis. I understand that you can’t keep every player because of the salary cap, but I think Tomlin and company are not good judges of talent. If Woodley would have not been hurt, Worilds would not even had a chance to prove himself.

    • I don’t disagree with you Bruce. I think Worilds has been the most consistent OLB without question. My gut feeling is the Steelers are going to try to move heaven and earth to keep him but the injury issue and Woodley’s cap issues could hinder that.

  4. I say keep Woodley, before the injury, he was somewhat dominant. Why waste money and let him go? Think the Steelers need to find cap money in positions where there is more depth. Think Jarvis Jones appeared overmatched from a size standpoint. If that doesn’t change, next year our D will suffer if we can’t pressure the QB. My draft wish list consist of a run stuffing NT and depth at the CB position to help us get back to defensive dominance!

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