The Steelers have very little depth at outside linebacker, and even less starting experience at the position outside of Worilds.
I still think that despite that, the Steelers should let the 5th year linebacker walk in 2015.
I still believe that Jason Worilds has the potential to be a 10-12 sack per year player and he’s just turned 26 years old.
If Worilds was willing to sign a contract that matches his production I’d be all for it; but it’s clear that him turning down the Steelers offer probably means he wants to be paid based on potential, not production.
I don’t necessarily think that Worilds is selfish or wrong… In his mind his stock could skyrocket after a big year in 2014 and he’s right.
The situation is reminiscent of Joe Flacco saying “no thanks” to the Ravens in 2012 and then seriously cashing in after a legendary playoff run.
When healthy, Jason Worilds was a pass-rushing force last season. He accumulated 8 sacks in 11 starts, and provided plenty of non-sack pressures throughout the year.
People love to call Maurkice Pouncey is injury prone (who prior to DeCastro’s knee torpedo in 2013 missed 5 out of 52 starts in his career). Worilds miss almost that many in 2011 alone.
He’s also rarely gone through an entire training camp without being sidelined… and he’s already been sitting and watching through most of OTA’s so far.
It’s completely possible that he’s ready to go for camp, and has a great season. If Worilds does look like a pro bowler in 2014, the Steelers always have the option of using another tag.
I could change my mind again, but as of now I think that the Steelers shouldn’t commit a ton of money to a guy that history shows will miss 4 or more games per season.
That would leave the Steelers with only the unproven Jarvis Jones at the position as a viable starter (Arthur Moats is a possibility but also a free agent in 2015), but I think making the position a free agency and draft priority is a better option than possibly having another LaMarr Woodley situation.