TUESDAY, 5:40pm: ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter tweets that the release of Woodley by the Steelers is now official.
MONDAY, 12:34pm: The Steelers will release linebacker LaMarr Woodley when the new league year begins tomorrow, reports ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). According to Schefter, the team will designate Woodley as a post-June 1 cut, allowing his cap number to be spread across 2014 and 2015.
Since signing his massive six-year contract in 2011, Woodley has recorded just 18 sacks in three seasons, after notching 35 from 2008 to 2010. He still graded well above average last season according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics, but his cap hit is untenable for the Steelers, particularly with Jason Worilds locked in at nearly $10MM as the team’s transition player.
Woodley had been slated to earn a base salary of $8MM in 2014, with a cap number of $13.59MM. Designating him a June 1 cut will ensure that only $5.59MM of his cap number counts on the Steelers’ books for 2014. The contract will then represent $8.58MM in dead money on the team’s 2015 cap.
Once he’s officially released on Tuesday, Woodley will be free to sign with any team, and despite the decline in his sack totals in recent years, he’ll still make a very intriguing option for clubs eyeing edge defenders.