Given the injury history of Worilds and Woodley, you cannot go into the season with depth at the most important position on the defense. From what I've seen of Chris Carter, I'm not impressed, and Timmons is better inside.
The appeal of Butler is that he gives you a third viable option. He is competition for Worilds and the loser of the competition should seem to be a fine backup. If the Steelers don't sign Butler or somebody else, you almost have to spend a draft pick on an OLB at some point, and probably towards the early portion of the draft.
If he signs for something like 3 years and $8 million, Butler gives an option for this year and guarantees that there is somebody under contract next year. I haven't seen enough of his play, but he could be an option, and at the right price, options are good.
Personally, I say the Steelers should draft John Simon and be done with it. The guy has heart, motor and is a true technician.
2014 NFL Draft
1) Cyrus Kouandjio-OT Alabama
2) Kyle Fuller-DB Virginia Tech
3) Jared Abbrederis-WR Wisconsin (the next Hines Ward)
4) Calvin Barnett-DT Oklahoma
5) Marcus Williams- DB North Dakota State (Best DB you haven't heard of)
6) Venric Mark-RB/WR Northwestern
I understand that fans might not be sold on Worilds, but that doesn't make Butler any better than the nobody that he was prior to Harrison being let go. If you have so little faith in Worilds then I'd rather see if a pass rusher falls in the draft than pay Butler $3M+. At that price tag you pretty much have to have him as your starter. Worilds is on the cap at under a mil this season. If he starts then great. If he backs up the starter then no big deal - that is where he is priced. You have Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo, Ziggy Ansah, Bjoern Werner, Jarvis Jones, Damontre Moore all considered to be capable pass rushers. If one falls in the first or second, or you can grab the next level type, then you have the opening to allow him to compete for a starting job. Not really so with Butler if his ticket is too high.
per schefter, tomlin was at the tennessee pro day today and had dinner with tyler bray last night.
I hope they are there scouting the WRs as bray is a bum.
1. Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama 6-6/305
2. Shayne Skov ILB Stanford 6-2/245
3. C.J. Fiedorowicz TE Iowa 6-6/260
4. Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska 6-2/220
5. Tevin McDonald S Eastern Washington 5-11/190
5. DeAndre Coleman DL California 6-5/305
6. Pat O'Donnell P Miami 6-5/222
7. Shaquil Barrett OLB Colorado State 6-2/250
By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
March 25, 2013
While the Baltimore Ravens filled their need for another pass rusher by signing veteran Elvis Dumervil over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers might be targeting a rookie to help take the place of five-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker James Harrison, who the team released two weeks ago in a cost-cutting move.
Reports have surfaced that the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year might be willing to return to Pittsburgh, but general manager Kevin Colbert has never been one to wait for replacement options and, judging by his appearance Monday at a private workout for Ohio State pass rusher John Simon, Harrison may have waited too long.
Colbert was the headliner among representatives from 12 teams at Simon's workout, according to a report from NFL.com's Gil Brandt.
The 6-1, 257-pound Simon starred as a defensive end for the Buckeyes but will likely have to make the transition to outside linebacker in the NFL at this size. He struggled when asked to do so in Mobile, Ala., during Senior Bowl practices before succumbing to a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined at the combine and during Ohio State's originally scheduled Pro Day, March 8.
Despite being hampered by a knee injury that limited him to just 11 games in 2012, Simon was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year with 44 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and a career-high nine sacks. On more than one occasion, the high-effort Simon was characterized by Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer as the "heart and soul" of the team.
Simon demonstrated enough athleticism during his drills Monday to reassure scouts from 3-4 clubs of his ability to pressure the quarterback as a stand-up rusher. He was clocked between 4.62 and 4.70 in the 40-yard dash and posted times of 4.42 seconds in the short shuttle and 7.10 in the three-cone drill. These times are in line with some of the other intriguing "second-tier" hybrid edge rushers of the 2013 draft class, like Auburn's Corey Lemonier and Southern Mississippi's Jamie Collins, among others.
Sporting similarly compact builds, as well as burst and power, Simon and the 6-0, 242-pound Harrison have a lot of similarities in the way that they wreak havoc off the edge.
If healthy, Simon could prove to be an immediate impact defender likely to be available in the second to third round.