There have been conflicting reports about the level of communication between Pittsburgh and Worilds, but it does appear that the Steelers are now making the fifth-year pro a priority.
- La Canfora reported in July that the Steelers were trying to sign Worilds to an extension.
It’s worth mentioning that the Steelers do not negotiate contracts with players once the season commences. With the sides reportedly far apart, significant progress will need to be made immediately to get a deal done before the season starts.
The Steelers used the franchise tag on Worilds back in March, guaranteeing him $9.745 million in 2014.
Pittsburgh has made a concerted effort to get younger and faster on defense, adding DL Stephon Tuitt and LB Ryan Shazier via the draft, and S Mike Mitchell via free agency. Worilds, 26, is a key piece to this transitioning unit, and it would likely be in the team’s best interest to lock him up long-term.
Worilds, 25, produced 63 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles this season and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 12 outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense last season.