I’ve written that after Ben Roethlisberger is extended, Jason Worilds will be the first domino to fall that will determine what the rest of the off-season will look like for the Steelers.
I’ve bounced back and forth on whether or not I want Jason Worilds to return, and I’m still not sure, but I’m starting to think it’s not likely he’s back with the Steelers in 2015.
Back in August, during a Steelers/Eagles pre-season game, Adam Caplan of ESPN tweeted that Jason Worilds would have signed with Philadelphia if the Steelers hadn’t tagged him.
Jimmy Kempski, formerly of Philly.com and now with The Philly Voice, has mentioned the fit of Worilds in the Eagles scheme and speculated that there was mutual interest between Worilds and the Eagles.
If that’s true, that would of course mean that there was tampering involved, since Worilds never hit free agency, but that is something I’m sure runs rampant at this time of the year in the NFL.
It appears that Trent Cole will probably be a cut as a cap saving move, and if Brandon Graham leaves in free agency they will have a big need at the OLB position.
Paul Kuharsky, who covers the Titans for ESPN.com has mentioned Worilds as a possible free agent target for Tennessee.
With the Titans switching to a 3-4 last season and bringing on Dick Lebeau, adding Jason Worilds makes a lot of sense for them.
What all of this means for the Steelers is that there’s a market for Worilds, and he knows it. I’d be surprised if Jason accepts a long term deal with the Steelers without hitting the open market first to see what he’s worth.
I think (and this is just me speculating) the Steelers are probably on the fence about extending him, and probably would let him go without question if they weren’t so thin at OLB.
The fact that they tagged him last season makes me think they see potential, but are hesitant to give him a big, multi-year deal.
The Steelers have never had a season out of Worilds that makes anyone say, they HAVE to keep that guy!
For that reason, I think that he will have a few teams fighting over his services, which means that the price tag will very likely be too rich for the Steelers’ blood.
The good news for the Steelers is there will be some cheaper options available in free agency that work as stop-gaps while a draft pick develops. I’m thinking that may be the best way for the Steelers to go, and believe they will.