Steelers GM Kevin Colbert discussed a number of offseason topics with reporters on Wednesday.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette specifically asked Colbert if it was at all possible for them to re-sign impending free agent OLB Jason Worilds and still keep LaMarr Woodley on their roster.
According to Colbert, yes, it’s possible, but he added that the number of injuries that Woodley has suffered over the past few years remain a concern.
“It would be for any player,” Colbet said, per Bouchette.
Worilds, 25, figures to be at the top of the Steelers priorities list this offseason now that he’s coming off of a breakout year for their defense. Worilds concerns regarding playing time are warranted given that he had only started 10 games in his first three years in the league.
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.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have Woodley under contract for $8 million next season and his cap hit will be $13.59 million.
As we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past few months, the Steelers are currently projected to be over the cap, so they will once again need to make numerous moves in order to be cap compliant and releasing Woodley is one of the easier ways to go about this.
Colbert mentioned that drafting a quarterback isn’t a priority for them this offseason, per Alan Robinson.
Colbert is hoping to get the most of QB Ben Roethlisberger in the coming years as possible.
“Hopefully he stays healthy and we get the maximum number of years out of him,” said Colbert, per Bouchette. “We have to make the most of those years we have left with our franchise quarterback.’’
Roethlisberger, 31, has two years remaining on his eight-year, $102 million contract. The problem for the Steelers is that his cap number for the 2014 season sits at $17.895 million and doesn’t move much in 2015 when he’ll account for another $17.395 million in cap space.
He seems like an candidate to possibly restructure his contract again this season.
Regarding former third-round pick LB Sean Spence, Colbert mentioned that he had a great practice toward the end of last season, and they are hopeful that he could play again.
Spence, 23, suffered a terrible knee injury last season. He torn both his ACL and LCL while dislocating the knee, so there are some legitimate questions as to whether or not he’ll even be the same. A report from last year mentioned that Spence was dealing with damage to his peroneal nerve, which located behind his knee.
At least there appears to be positive signs that he has recovered to some degree.
This is more a small note, but Colbert told the two reporters that he believes this year’s draft class is “as deep across the board as any draft [he’s] seen in 30 years,” per Bouchette.
Colbert did add that he concerned that some young players who are coming out early might not be ready for the pros.