Alex Mack, one of two players who received transition tenders from their respective teams this offseason, drew some interest on the free agent market and ultimately signed a long-term offer sheet with the Jaguars, which was matched by the Browns. However, while it was an eventful offseason for Mack, we haven’t heard a whole lot about the league’s other transition player, Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds. Rival suitors didn’t seem to have much interest in making a play for Worilds, and according to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, there have been “no productive talks” on a long-term deal for the 26-year-old.
When Worilds first accepted his one-year transition tender from the Steelers, which essentially guarantees that he’ll receive a $9.754MM salary for 2014, the two sides were believed to making progress on a multiyear agreement, but talks appear to have reached an impasse. As Robinson writes in a separate piece, Worilds seems likely to play the 2014 season on a one-year deal, which would make him eligible for unrestricted free agency again next winter.
While both Worilds and the Steelers may have interest in working out a longer-term arrangement, neither side is under tremendous pressure to get something done right away. For Worilds, who is already guaranteed nearly $10MM this season, he’d have to receive a significant offer to sign away his prime years, particularly when he’ll have a good chance to improve upon a 2013 season in which he started just 11 games and improve his value. For the Steelers, the need to reduce Worilds’ ’14 cap hit is less urgent after they released LaMarr Woodley, and the club may want to see more than one productive season as a starter out of the linebacker before committing significant years and money to him.
In 792 defensive snaps last season, Worilds recorded eight sacks and 50 overall quarterback pressures. He graded well as both a pass rusher and a run stopper, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, which placed him 12th overall among 3-4 outside linebackers (subscription required).