Player: Chris Wormley
Position: Defensive End
Experience: 4 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2020 Salary Cap Hit: $2,133,000
2020 Season Breakdown:
Although I just wrote a negative stock evaluation piece on Chris Wormley yesterday, those who might have taken the time to read the whole piece will surely have realized that it wasn’t all bad. Moreso, it was a reflection of where he was at this time last year versus where he is now in terms of his prospects of advancing his career.
Acquired via trade in March last year from the Baltimore Ravens entering his fourth season, Wormley went from playing 400-plus snaps per year to only playing about 100 in 2020 in Pittsburgh. Of course, he was playing behind both Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, which makes it difficult to get on the field.
When he did get on the field, for the most part, he played well. Though he only finished with eight tackles, including one for loss, and one sack in addition to three quarterback hits, what he did well was play the traditional five-tech role in the Steelers’ scheme.
Unfortunately for him, the time that he would have had the most opportunity to play, during Tyson Alualu’s injury and Tuitt’s Covid-19 bout, he, too, was injured, ultimately missing three games. And now he heads into free agency having left important snaps on the table.
Free Agency Outlook:
Because of his limited opportunities, it’s hard to imagine that there will be a robust market for Wormley, whom the Steelers should be interested in re-signing. While they have other players in the pipeline for depth with Isaiah Buggs, Carlos Davis, and Henry Mondeaux, Wormley brings experience that they don’t have, and a more proven track record.
It has been talked about for years that they would like to do more rotating along the defensive line, a good intention that never seems to actually take place, unless somebody actually gets injured. That probably won’t change, even still, but Heyward is getting up there now, and it would be beneficial to get him to the playoffs fresher.
Of course, it all depends upon the price tag, and that price has to be at or very near the minimum allowed for his experience level. if somebody out there is going to be willing to offer him a bigger opportunity and more money that goes along with it, then this will be a one-year partnership—and a less than stellar use of a fifth-round pick for 100 snaps.