When the news broke that the Pittsburgh Steelers placed the transition tag on OLB Jason Worilds, most believed it to be a ploy to keep the 26-year-old linebacker from truly testing free agent waters. It was never believed that Worilds would agree to the deal immediately, essentially taking himself off the market.
Low and behold, Worilds agreed to the deal in a move that surprised a lot of people.
Worilds’ decision to sign so quickly tells fans that there is most likely a long-term deal in the works for the former Virginia Tech product.
Currently, Worilds would account for $9.75 million towards the 2014 salary cap. That large number could be decreased with a new contract that could spread the financial benefits over several years and not lumped solely into one year.
There is no reason why Worilds would have signed his tender so quickly had he thought he would get a better offer from another NFL franchise. There had to be an understanding that if Worilds signs his tender that the Steelers organization would then give him a long-term deal worthy of him staying.
If, and when, the Steelers lock up Worilds long term, it is only a matter of time until the LaMarr Woodley era in Pittsburgh comes to a close. The former Pro Bowl linebacker will most likely be looking for work elsewhere with Worilds roaming the edge for the Steelers.
It’s a difficult decision both from an organizational and financial standpoint for the Steelers, but the decision made will only improve the team.