LaMarr Woodley braces for franchise tag

The NFL has said that teams may apply the franchise tag before the current labor deal expires on March 4.  The union disputes the availability of the franchise tag in the final year of the current labor deal, since there’s no labor deal for the season to which the tag will apply.

Either way, it’s a matter for negotiation (and, presumably, litigation).  And, either way, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley anticipates the tag to be applied to him during the two-week window that opens on Thursday, February 10.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Woodley is “fully expecting” to receive the franchise player designation, which will entail a one-year guaranteed salary in excess of $10 million, under the current franchise-tag formula.

Breer points out that Woodley could get an even higher franchise number, based on the Terrell Suggs precedent from two years ago.  The Ravens tagged him as a linebacker.  Suggs claimed he was entitled to the higher defensive end franchise number.  In the end, the two sides reached a compromise.

The franchise number for linebackers likely will exceed $10 million.  For defensive ends, the number likely will come in at more than $13 million.

Breer notes that it would be difficult for the Steelers to sign Woodley to a long-term deal under the current CBA, but it wouldn’t be impossible.  Because signing bonuses don’t fall within the scope of the 30-percent rule, the Steelers could compensate him with a huge signing bonus now, subject to salary cap rules that have yet to be determined.

That said, few teams are signing pending free agents to long-term deals.  The fact that players who are due to become free agents won’t become free agents absent a new labor deal has applied plenty of pressure to the union — and it possibly has contributed to the union’s willingness to try to get a new deal done by March 4.

33 responses to “LaMarr Woodley braces for franchise tag

  1. Really? There’s actually an argument for Woodley as to whether or not he played more DE or LB? Are you serious? How does the “Suggs factor” of him playing more DE than LB affect LaMarr Woodley?

    I was not aware of his exceptional skills as a DE.

  2. “Bracing”? Yes, quite a jolt to get a guaranteed contract that is the average of the 5 highest paid at your position or a 20% raise.


  3. Franchise him and groom Worilds. Please don’t sign him long term. Woodley is so overrated. He consistently loses contain – ever wonder why the opposition tends to run to his side? His sacks are due to scheme, not skill. Check out his tackle numbers for the year, they are a joke. Guarantee if the Steelers drop him he will wind up being another Kendrell Bell. I like the guy so I hate saying it, but we have to let him go. Don’t waste $$ on him like we did on Gildon and Porter.

  4. The only position that should be franchised is QB. The other positions, the franchise tag lowers salaries of those positions.

  5. The franchise tag will be used just until a long term deal gets done. The steelers need to lock him up for a long time. As to why jc well. He is only 26, in three years of starting he has 35 sacks, 172 tackles, 6 forced fumlbles, 3 int. He is no longer just a pass rusher. Im sure we have not seen the best of lamarr woodley. Not bad for the steelers third best linebacker. So jc, him not making the probowl would mean he is underrated. Oh yeah you dont get sacks on linemen you get them on Qbs.

  6. @ JC I bet Aaron Rodgers disagrees with you…


    3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 2 QB hits.

    And if you think Ziggy Hood and Brent Keisel didn’t benefit from Woodley drawing attention on their way to 3 QB hits and 1 sack between them, you’d be mistaken. Not that those guys aren’t alright players, but the pass rush for Pittsburgh is a team effort and it produced 3 sacks and 8 QB hits on 44 total passing plays (39 passing attempts, 3 sacks, 2 rushes by Rodgers).

    Oh…and Woodley has 11 sacks in 7 career post-season games, and has had at least 1 in each.

  7. @jc1958c00 … You are right and wrong. Woodley didn’t make the Pro Bowl this year, but he damn well should have.

    The Steelers will tag him and then sign him. No controversy here.

  8. @jc1958coo, Woodley did beat Bulaga for a sack, and he now has 11 sacks in 7 career playoff games, and in the 3 years he’s been a starter he’s racked up 35 sacks.

    I guess you are right, he sucks…

    And for the record, the Steelers don’t play a hybrid 4-3 / 3-4 like the Ravens do. Woodley is a pure linebacker, so there is no chance he can claim DE with the franchise tag.

    I really disappointed that you didn’t find some crazy angle to try to spin this more negative against the Steelers. You are really slipping.

  9. He did get a sack jc1958, and he probably should have made the pro bowl. He is an incredible up-and-coming player that gets beat by ppl with big names. He will be a Steeler for a while and will be a steal for whatever we sign him for.

  10. @jc1958c00 …

    Why do you care so much since he doesn’t play for the Packers? You think he’s overrated? Then be glad Green Bay isn’t paying him. Steelers fans, coaches, and owners are very happy with our big Wolverine. We think he earns his money as part of our #1 defense and we want to keep him.

  11. It must be hard to brace for 10mil. haha Steelers nearly always make the right call on personnel. Make it another year, draft another prospect, Harrison is out and the curtain continues.(not sure about harrison’s contract, but you know what i mean.)

  12. Again we have fans calling out players who are looking for more money…

    EVERYBODY wants to be paid what they’re worth. Anytime a player gets the franchise tag, they aren’t being paid what they’re worth (I.E long-term, guaranteed money that ensures them that even if cut down by injuries in their prime, they can walk away from the game with something to live off of)

    If you’re a great school principle, or a plumber, or a baker, or a taxi driver, you want to get paid the same as the other great ones. If you are paid less and have less job security than another plumber, principle, baker or cab driver despite being equally talented and qualified, you aren’t going to be satisfied.

    It’s not the total dollar amount, its about how much you’re being paid compared to the field.

    So please please PLEASE stop with the “huh, these damn football players get paid to play for der jobs, heck i’ll play for that money and keep my mouth shut”. No, moron, you wouldn’t. If you are one of the best, you’d look for the the best compensation, end of story.

  13. jlpats says: Feb 9, 2011 10:29 PM

    “…he would look good in a patriots uniform”

    See? There’s one real difference between the Steelers and the Patriots.
    The Steeler players don’t give a flying **** how they look in a uniform.

    /but I’ll bet the Pats locker room is one huge wall of mirrors.

  14. Hopefully he can manage to scrape together some of that paltry salary to help his defensive teammate Harrison put his kids through college.

  15. @jlpats:

    There’s absolutely no way that New England would waste money on him, at least not what he is expecting or commanding on the open market. Belichick rarely if ever, takes a chance on a ‘pure pass rusher,’ this is why the Adailus Thomas experiment was halted. You need to be an all-around LB who can play multiple sets, Woodley benefits from his role in Pittsburgh, and he does it well.

    Not sure if Woodley is the all-around type LB that would be needed in that defense. Put it this way, Jerod Mayo had more tackles this year alone, than Woodley has had his entire starting career. He is great at what he does, the scheme, the surrounding talent etc–just not sure that at 10million/yr+ that New England would even be slightly interested.

    Regardless, New England needs to either bring down their standards on picking LB’s, or get lucky with their first 5 picks out of 75. BTW–that is the first time anyone has had 5 out of 75 picks in the NFL in over 20 years of drafting. Your Pats will be fine no matter what, due to the return of all of your defensive starters who were on IR this year + the plethora of draft picks that you have.

  16. @Foozie Grooler-

    Maybe Pittsburgh needs to start thinking about putting ‘mirrors’ in the locker room, as you suggest New England does.

    In the Brady era, they have lost to him now 6 out of 7 times–obviously they need to do something differently.

    But keep that ‘tough guy’ front up, for you and your team. Too bad when they play these guys that ‘look at themselves in front of the mirror’ they suddenly suck–not sure how ‘tough’ that really is.

    Then again, after Sunday’s devastating loss, you can always put your “Bernard Pollard Fan Club” jersey on. That should make you classy ‘tough guys’ feel better about yourselves.

  17. Woodley’s argument for getting paid like a DE “Well if you change me to a DE in Madden I’m a 99” Haha

    Disclaimer: This is not an actual quote

  18. Woodley has already stated he expects the tag and is fine with it.

    “Nah, I wouldn’t be against it at all,” Woodley said. “Whatever happens, happens. Would you like to have a long-term contract? Yeah. But a franchise tag, it doesn’t matter to me.”

    But, that is not the headline grabber like “Woodley braces for franchise tag”

    He understands the CBA handcuffed the team. All he know is this, in a month, he gets paid.

  19. @footballphan …

    I came to PFT after the Bernard Pollard Fan Club incident, which was appalling. But don’t judge an entire fanbase by the idiocy of a few people. I was heartsick when Brady went down because–despite hating your team–I enjoy watching great players and dreaded losing the league’s best QB for a season. Plus it’s always discouraging when any player is injured.

    As for the Steelers sucking … we played a sloppy game, but were six points from trophy #7. I think we’ll live to fight the Pats another day. You guys may lead the current series, but don’t count on that always being the case. See you next year 😉

  20. @footballphan I agree with most of what you are saying. Your right he fits our system better which is why they need to lock him up long term. Dick said he is his lockdown lb meaning he is in coverage alot. You cant compare mayo with him because mayo is a ILBand ball carriers are funneled to him. Lamarr has more sacks in one game than mayo has career. Mayo is going to be a great dont get me wrong. Pay the man WOODLEY=STUD
    @tucknroll harrison out? dont know what that means but if you mean he is not going to be here or that he is in a decline you cant be more wrong.

  21. @Deb–

    No one, including me–ever said that the Pats were ‘my’ team. I am simply pointing out the obvious which is their record vs. Tom Brady. That particular comment was in response to the tool who was trying his damnest to find a reason–any reason to rip on a competitive team like New England.

    I agree that no one bad thing should (aka Pollard fan club) should make judgment of an entire fan base, that is a very fair point.

    Lastly I NEVER used the words “Steelers sucking,” as I would never do that. I give them many props for playing as well as they did this year. They were the AFC reps in the SB, and deserved to be there. They have a stifling defense, and are contenders just about every year.

    See you next year. (hopefully 🙂

  22. @ Steelertom–

    I agree that the comparison of Woodley to Mayo was poor, as they do play very different roles.

    That said, I still agree with the fact that Woodley is provided with a much deeper and more talented defense than he would have in N.England, and is benefited from that.

    For those Pats fans who feel that Woodley is on Belichick’s radar—don’t fool yourselves. N.England’s defense will be improved for next year, mainly by the return of their injured players (T.Warren, L.Bodden, etc), and also by drafting well at a low cost.

  23. So Deb, you’re saying we shouldn’t blame all Pittsburgh fans for protecting and loving a rapist QB?

    Instead we should just figure it’s a few idiots on this board?

    My Bad.

    Maybe last Sunday wasn’t Karma after all.

    Deb says:
    Feb 10, 2011 1:41 PM
    @footballphan …

    But don’t judge an entire fanbase by the idiocy of a few people.

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