Chris Wormley is by no means new to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rivalry games with the Baltimore Ravens. He spent his first three years in the league in the mix there. But he is new to being in that rivalry from the other side of the ball. Now instead of rooting for Lamar Jackson, he’ll be looking to chase after him.
That is the end result of the Ravens sending Wormley (and a seventh-round pick) along to Pittsburgh in exchange for a fifth-round pick, along with the responsibility of taking on his salary. The rare intradivisional trade was just the second between the two teams in history, a fact of which he was aware when it happened.
He sensed a trade was a possibility, however. He couldn’t not know that something was afoot, with the way that Baltimore was addressing the defensive line during the offseason, both based on whom they were choosing to add and whom they were bringing back.
“When they had traded for Calais Campbell and then signed Michael Brockers—well, I guess they didn’t sign Michael Brockers—I kind of knew the way they were headed, especially with that defensive line. I knew that my role was either gonna be diminished a little bit, from playing a lot last year, either that or maybe get traded or get cut after camp”.
The Ravens traded for Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars and signed him to a new two-year deal. While their free agent contract with Brockers fell through as a result of their unease over the lack of medical information about his health, they did use that money to sign Derek Wolfe instead. They also re-signed Jihad Ward and Justin Ellis, leaving little room for Wormley.
“Then the trade happened, and playing that team twice a year now, there’s definitely gonna be a chip on my shoulder when I play them twice a year, and maybe in the playoffs”, he told The Fan. “For the rest of the season you don’t really think about it too much, but definitely when you play the other team that traded you, you want to show them that they made a mistake”.
It doesn’t hurt that Wormley is an always has been a Steelers fan. This is a fact that was known before he was even in the NFL, and he had to answer questions about it after going to the Ravens. The same can be said for Ben Powers, another Steelers fan the Ravens drafted last year.
Everyone Pittsburgh has brought in has some level of affinity for the team. Stefen Wisniewski is a born and bred Yinzer. Derek Watt has his brother T.J. Watt. Eric Ebron has talked about his admiration for Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin at length, and there are even some receipts for that.
And now there’s Wormley, yet another Steelers fan made a Steeler. That doesn’t mean he’s be in for the long haul. Another life-long Steelers fan, B.J. Finney, left in free agency last month. The former will be a free agent in 2021.