Yesterday’s surprise transition-tagging of Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds is going to force another team to negotiate a contract for him.
And that’s going to force LaMarr Woodley to wait to see what his future holds.
As mentioned by Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the futures of the two outside linebackers are doubtless linked.
Given the Steelers’ always-snug cap position, Woodley and his $13.6 million cap number might have to go once they know the future of Worilds. They can match any offer he gets from another team, though they get no compensation if they don’t.
Worilds will get a $9.754 million deal under the terms of the transition tag.
If another team makes a bid for Worilds the Steelers don’t want to match, they’ll likely proceed with Jarvis Jones and Woodley. But if Worilds is more palatable cap-wise, it would make sense to let Woodley go for a younger, cheaper model (the way the Steelers have rolled outside linebackers through for decades).
Woodley has missed 14 games and parts of six others since signing his $61.5 million deal in 2011, so giving themselves options at the position is a smart play for the Steelers.