The Steelers became the second NFL team to use the transition tag today, designating linebacker Jason Worilds as their transition player, the team announced in a press release.
Unless Pittsburgh can work out a long-term deal with Worilds, the transition tag will lock the prospective free agent in for a $9.754MM cap hit for 2014, meaning the team will have to continue clearing cap room. The Steelers started that process today by restructuring Heath Miller‘s contract to reduce his $9.47MM cap hit for 2014.
Had the Steelers franchised Worilds, the one-year price tag would’ve been $11.455MM, so the club saves a little money by using the transition tag instead. However, if Worilds explores the open market and signs an offer sheet with a rival club, the Steelers will have to match the offer or let the standout linebacker walk without receiving any compensatory first-round picks.
Worilds, 25, set career-highs with 63 tackles and eight sacks in 2013. He also ranked as the 12th-best 3-4 outside linebacker, out of 42 qualified players, according to Pro Football Focus.