The big advantage that you have when you bring in a new player at an established position with high-quality starters is that you have the opportunity to have this new piece learn from some of your best players. That’s where new Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Chris Wormley hopes to profit during his time with the team, playing behind Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt.
A former third-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2017, he was acquired by Pittsburgh via trade in March, and is set to play out the final year of his rookie contract in 2020. Whether or not his time with the Steelers will extend beyond this season remains to be seen, but in the meantime, he will use this opportunity to his advantage.
“When I got traded back in March, I was really, really excited to be able to learn from Cam and Tuitt”, he told reporters earlier today. “Those two guys are probably the best 3-4 ends in the league, and to be able to learn from those guys this year and soak up as much as I can when it comes to how the position is played, I’m really excited”. And he didn’t leave out Tyson Alualu, either.
“Just picking up things that they do on a day-to-day basis”, he added, “whether that’s how they handle themselves within the building, the leaders that they are, how they handle, not even just the football things, but recovery, and the leaders in the community that they are, there’s a lot to learn from those three”.
The Steelers made the trade for Wormley presumably once they determined it was most likely that they would be moving Alualu inside to nose tackle in order to replace Javon Hargrave, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an unrestricted free agent.
The former Michigan man figures to serve as the top rotational end behind Heyward and Tuitt this year. I would assume that when they traded for him, their hope was also that they could extend him before the start of the new league year in 2021, since they gave up a first-round pick to get him and are paying him over $3 million this year, which is an expensive price for a one-year rental for a rotational end.
What the future holds remains to be seen on that front, of course, and how the current season plays out will go a long way toward determining that. Maybe even the status of Heyward’s contract negotiations plays a role in that as well.
But that’s a concern for 2021. For 2020, Wormley comes in to provide quality depth for the Steelers and will help give them the best chance of winning the Super Bowl this year. That’s the only team objective for him on the table right now, even while he uses the resources available to him to better himself for wherever he might be next year.