Steelers Must Be Cautious With Re-Signing Worilds

WorildsThe way I see it, the Pittsburgh Steelers are caught between a rock and a hard place. The dilemma facing them saw the stakes grow higher yesterday when Jason Worilds said he was open to re-signing with the Steelers yet he wants assurances of a starting position.

Worilds won’t command a monster salary per se, but he has been rated as high as the second-best available outside linebacker on the free agent market. I believe he’d really like to stay in Pittsburgh but I have serious concerns and I really believe Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company do as well.

Worilds wants to start and he has every right to demand that. He was the team’s best outside linebacker in 2013 and it wasn’t really that close.

LaMarr Woodley once again underwhelmed and spent part of the year on the sidelines with injuries. Rookie Jarvis Jones showed flashes but by and large did not live up to the hype a first round draft pick should have.

Jones will start at outside linebacker in 2014 because you don’t make the rare move of starting a rookie then sit him in year two.

Woodley’s situation is another one the Steelers have to be careful with as well. He has not lived up to his contract and has been injured a good part of the time. The Steelers can cut him and take a monster cap hit or wait and cut him after June 1st and spread that hit over two years.

Should the Steelers cut Woodley, then it’s a no-brainer that Worilds would have the starting position he desires. If, and here’s a big “if,” the Steelers can come to terms with him.

My concerns don’t stop with Woodley or Jones though. You’ll recall that Worilds has dealt with injuries throughout his career and this past season he missed a game with one as well.

I’m also concerned about motivation with Worilds. Knowing he was entering a contract year, it was obvious that Worilds picked up his pace decidedly in 2013. Will that same motivation be there if he is ‘guaranteed’ a starting spot and has a juicy new contract?

We have a very recent precedent similar to this and his name is LaMarr Woodley.

Many fans will say that signing Worilds is an absolute must and I understand that, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t serious risks involved either. The last thing this organization needs is a repeat of LaMarr Woodley.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns 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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12 comments on “Steelers Must Be Cautious With Re-Signing Worilds

  1. I am one of those people who feels that Worilds needs to be resigned. That does not mean I’m not sure he will be the same as he was this past season. He Stepped up cause of 2 things: 1.Woodley was out of shape and never was really healthy and was his contract year. As I see it yes he must be singed and he will get the starting job no questions asked but does anybody really know how motivated he will be when he gets his money?

  2. Here’s the biggest problem to the whole thing. The Steelers are giving a starting position to a player who hasn’t earned it nor has shown the ability to play there at a high level [J. Jones]. Banking on a undersized ,slow and inexperienced LB could prove foolhardy. If it were me and i know it’s not , i see Jones as the weak link here. I would trade him for a quality db cut my losses and get better as a team. Putting your hopes that the Steelers hit one on draft day, well that’s a huge question mark.

  3. Are you nuts Bob Graff? Do not trade Jones. So what if his rookie year was bad it happens get over it. Jones was given the chance cause Woodley got hurt and there was no one else there to start with. He will get better in his 2nd full year that is a given. Look at past OLB’s this team drafted and you tell me what did they do there rookie years. This defense is complex so if your looking for a simple scheme go watch SF or Seattle. LeBeau knows what he is doing with these rookies. You cannot get rid of him just because he had 1 bad year. Get a grip man and watch how Jones gets better his 2nd year on the job.

  4. 1 sack all year long , when i saw Reggie Bush stone cold block Jones time after time. That’s all i needed to see, some players are great on the college level but just don’t have the physical make up to handle the NFL. I also feel in past that rookies haven’t played not because of the complex defense [ it really isn’t that complicated] But because there was superior talent already in place. I believe last year everyone was saying that there was no way we were going to keep this missile projected sack demon off the field. remember players are good because they are not because they are Steelers or first round draft choices. Look up Huey Richardson.

  5. Give him time man. How about when Porter was drafted or when they drafted Lloyd what exactly did they do there rookie years. He will get better just believe in LeBeau and Jones and what they can do. you get rid of him and your back to square one again. Now you have to draft another OLB and then he will be in the same spot as Jones. So why can’t you just give Jones a chance to show what he can do. He showed flashes of what he can do as this teams OLB.

    • I was not in favor of drafting Jones last season. He was dominated at the point of attack too often at UGA and rarely had to beat guys to QB with strength which is necessary in the NFL. That said, let him bulk up a little while maintaining his speed. If we don’t see improvement this year then I will start to say it was the wrong move.

  6. I actually thought he was the right choice. They had no one else at that position and like I said before he had nobody to learn from on how to play the position with this team. He played over 500 snaps as a rookie which you don’t see that often in LeBeau’s defense. If he had somebody to help him out at his spot are we even having this debate? Look it’s not a quick fix for this team when it comes to the D, it will take the right amount of young talent mixed with veteran talent to make this D better again. I all heard about Wheaton was just give him another year and he will flourish so why can’t you guys do the same thing with Jones?

  7. I was looking at it from a value standpoint. Out of the three OLB what combination is most likely to get you high quality production. I just feel it would be Woodley- Worilds. I think if we keep these two then Jones becomes a backup to both. When i said trade Jones i was implying that he has more trade value right now than he may ever have. Right now he has done nothing to warrant a lock on a starting job. You are dealing with 2 if here 1, Will Jones improve greatly in year two ?? 2, Can Woodley stay healthy?? That brings us back to the overall problem with the Steelers , They are thin at almost every position, the cause very poor drafting which is why i’m concerned about Jones, our talent evaluation hasn’t been that good over the last 6 years.

  8. I really don’t understand you bob graff? I have said that if you trade Jones your back to square 1. Woodley cannot stay healthy so why keep him. Why is everyone so impatient with Jones? so what if his rookie year was not good it was expected. The Steelers run a complex scheme that takes time to learn. You bob graff are basically saying that Jones was a bad pick and they should have gone with Eifert. I see it otherwise. I never liked the idea of 2TE threats down the field I see no good coming out of it. The pats had that kind of offense for 3 years and now look where they are now? The Ravens and Bengals are no different. They are trying to run an offense that just can’t work in this league. 1TE threat with a couple of sup-par TE’s has worked for this team so why mess that up. Give Jones this season to show you what he can offer to this LB core.

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