Transition Tag on Jason Worilds Will Have Ramifications

WorildsI guess we now know what value the Pittsburgh Steelers place on Jason Worilds. The Steelers chose the little-used transition tag to keep Worilds on the roster at least for one more season.

The move is a bit of a surprise since General Manager Kevin Colbert said recently that he “doubted” the team would use either the franchise or transition tag.

Worilds will now make $9.7 million this season on a one year deal if he cannot come to terms with any other team in the league.

Other teams will have the opportunity to sign him but the Steelers reserve the right to match any offer over a five-day period or let him go. They receive no compensation should he go elsewhere.

The Steelers must have felt they were in no man’s land regarding the outside linebacker spot to pull the trigger on this. In my opinion, Jason Worilds is not worth $9 million a year. Half of that yearly sum would make me question him as well.

Let’s remember this is a guy who has shown flashes of being a very good outside linebacker but most of those flashes were over one half of a season. As Neal Coolong of Behind the Steel Curtain mentioned recently, the list of guys Worilds beat to collect his eight sacks isn’t all that impressive. Against higher level competition Worilds was held in check.

With the future of LaMarr Woodley still in doubt and little if any experience behind them, the outside linebacking unit was in trouble without the return of Worilds. Personally, I would have taken my chances but here we are.

Earlier today, several reports said Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller was restructuring his deal in order to help get the Steelers more ‘salary cap compliant.’ That is just the first of many moves the Steelers will now have to make in order to get below the cap a week from today when the league calendar officially begins.

I fully expect contract adjustments coming for Troy Polamalu, Lawrence Timmons and perhaps Ben Roethlisberger but the big one may be Ike Taylor. Should Taylor not want to take a pay cut then he may be cut altogether. The Steelers will immediately gain some room with the cutting of Levi Brown and I think you could see a vet like Larry Foote gone as well.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have always been about ‘defense first’ and this move does nothing to change that view. That doesn’t necessarily make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside though with the game being so offensively based today.

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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9 comments on “Transition Tag on Jason Worilds Will Have Ramifications

    • You’re making a fair point but Manning isn’t the guy to use. When is the last time he played well against a good defense in a meaningful game? I’m not dismissing the need for good defensive players but is Jason Worilds really worth $9.7 million? Great defense today means you put constant pressure on the quarterback and force receivers off their routes. That’s why Seattle’s D is so good.

      • Compared to Woodley he’s worth it. Hoping a long term deal comes about and he gets Kulger money. I don’t think he’s worth almost 10 mil, but I don’t matter. Teams throw money around, better him than Woodley, although we got both.

  1. What are the Steelers supposed to do with Worilds? Just let him walk out the door and keep Woodley or they let Worilds walk and cut Woodley then what? Granted Worilds is not worth 9.75 Million but I ask you steeldad what are they supposed to do with him?

    • Honestly Vittorio? At that price I let him walk. I want nothing more than for him to become a Pro Bowl OLB and I’ll gladly eat crow if that happens . Let’s face it; this defense is not going to win this team a lot of games anyway. Why tie up more money in another LB? For the sake of stability, I’m glad he is staying but my hope was a modest FA signing and money spent elsewhere. Like I said, hope he has great success but I have my doubts.

  2. What FA is willing to come here at a modest price? Look at the entire FA class and other than Cotchery who exactly is going to play for this team at a MODEST PRICE? Nobody said the Defense would, all the people are saying is why wait for a compensatory pick in 2015 when you can pay him now and have faith he will succeed.

    • I’m all for having faith that he’ll succeed but in four years he has shown one half season of good play. I’m trying to be realistic in terms of tempering expectations.
      In regards to FAs there was a guy out of Houston and another from Nee Orleans I believe I was looking at. I just want to see this team get back to being more fiscally able. If that means another so-so year I’m OK with that. These backloaded contracts have for to stop.

  3. Is Worilds worth 10 mil.?? But are the Steelers going anywhere without some pressure on the QB. To me it now looks like it will be Woodley and Worilds. They are spending some money for it but it’s the best thing to do to win now. And it will give an unknown commodity like J. Jones some real time that he needs to develop.

  4. The Steelers just won’t do that. If the contracts were front loaded people would still be complaining it’s a 2 way street on those type of contracts you can’t complain about one without doing so for the other. Jones played what amounted to a full season and yeah he struggled but name one Steeler Defensive rookie that didn’t? Yes by cutting Woodley it will hurt them over the next 2 seasons but how could anybody see Woodley going downhill after he got the money? I know I didn’t until this past season proved he just didn’t have that fire anymore to compete.

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