According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “the more you look closely at the LaMarr Woodley situation, the more you conclude that either by March 11 or after June 1, he no longer will be a Steeler.”
LaMarr Woodley has been a popular release candidate in the past few months given that OLB Jason Worilds will be an unrestricted free agent in a matter of weeks and the Steelers, once again, have cap issues to contend with.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert recently expressed some optimism that they could retain both Worilds and Woodley, but Bouchette is not buying this a realistic option.
Pittsburgh has Woodley under contract for $8 million next season to go along with a cap hit of $13.59 million. Releasing him this offseason would free up $25.5 million in cap space over the next three years, according to Bouchette.
Of course, the Steelers could always approach Woodley about a pay cut, but it’s hard to say that he would even be willing to broach the topic.
Woodley, 29, dealt with numerous injuries this year which limited him to appearing in just 11 games. Since signing a six-year deal worth $61.5 million back in 2011, Woodley has missed 14 games due injury.
In 2013, Woodley 36 tackles and five sacks to go along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Worilds, 25, is likely to be at the top of the Steelers priorities list this offseason now that he’s coming off of a breakout year in 2013. Worilds has said that he has no intention of taking a back seat in the coming years, so the Steelers would not only need to pay him a market value contract, but also assure him that he will see plenty of playing time moving forward.
Worilds produced 63 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles this season and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 12 3-4 outside linebacker in the league.
We have Worilds listed as the No. 11 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.