Steelers 2014 Player Exit Meetings – OLB Jason Worilds

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Jason Worilds

Position: Outside Linebacker

Experience: 5 Years

When it comes to high-salaried players, evaluations become a bit more difficult. Because of their compensation level, they are expected to be able to perform at a higher level. Following the completion of his rookie contract, Jason Worilds became one such player in 2014 after being given the transition tag worth nearly $10 million.

Did his play on the field offer $10 million in value? Certainly not, and I don’t suppose anybody outside of Worilds, his agent, and perhaps his parents, would argue that that was the case. While he led the team, tied with Cameron Heyward, in sacks with 7.5—as has recently been reiterated, he also had a sack taken away due to an incorrect roughing the passer call—you would, quite frankly, hope to get at least a sack per million from your premium pass-rushing position.

That’s not to say that he had a bad season by any means. When removing money from the equation, I don’t suppose many would argue that Worilds has not shown himself to be a solid starter over the course of the past two seasons.

And obviously the Steelers would like to keep solid players around on defense, but this is where money comes back into the equation, and whether or not the two sides could mutually agree upon a long-term contract reflective of a lower yearly monetary value more commensurate with his production level.

And his production level was, as mentioned before, solid. In addition to recording 7.5 sacks, he also made 59 tackles, while recording an interception and forcing a fumble. As a pass rusher, he generated a lot of pressure outside of the sacks, but that pressure tended to be sporadic, and at times he could seem invisible.

Like his pass rush, he work in the running game was also sporadic, and in fact a bit of a step down from his performance from a year ago. He is, however, a solid tackler, in addition to being sound in the defensive scheme.

As a football player, Worilds had a pretty good season in 2014. As a high-salaried pass rusher, the Steelers need to see more from him in order to continue with his pay grade. The team can also ill-afford to lose a quality contributor, so it will be interesting to see how this situation plays out over the next month and a half or so.

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