Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds wasn’t allowed to test free agency last offseason as he was hit with a $9.754 million transition tender that he wasted no time signing. In a few more weeks Worilds might finally be able to dip his toes into the free agency pool and if he does, NFL.com views him as being one of the top defensive unrestricted free agents this offseason.
Chris Wesseling has Worilds 12th overall on his potential free agent list and when you consider that Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul are both likely to be given the franchise tag by their respective teams, that moves Worilds even higher up the list when it comes to the defensive side of the football. Jerry Hughes is one spot higher than Worilds on Wesseling’s list and there’s a report already suggesting that the Buffalo Bills might be able to strike a new deal with him in the coming weeks.
The Steelers can of course tag Worilds again this offseason but in doing so the new price for 2015 will be over $12 million. Team president Art Rooney II didn’t rule out the possibility of that happening when he talked to the media a few weeks ago. The organization now has less than a month to decide if indeed the tag fits Worilds for 2015.
Even though he’s yet to register double-digit sacks during his career, Worilds certainly has himself in a good place once again this offseason. The Steelers are also caught between a rock and a hard place with Worilds as they currently only have one outside linebacker that was on their 53 man roster last season under contract for 2015. While the team might have interest in a few of the other edge rushers that could be hitting the market in a month, there’s no guarantee they will land any of them.
General manager Kevin Colbert always likes to say that the organization has the final say as to whether or not a free agent is allowed to leave. That certainly is the case this year with Worilds and if he’s indeed allowed to test free agency in March, the chances that he’ll be back in black and gold in 2015 decrease dramatically.
Where would you rank Worilds on the list?