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Thread: Lamarr Woodley Could Be Playing For His Career

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    Lamarr Woodley Could Be Playing For His Career

    Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker Lamarr Woodley Could Be Playing For His Career

    December 8, 2013 by Jeff Hartman



    There was a lot of buzz around Lamarr Woodley last season. Woodley had just endured another injury-riddled season after signing a hefty six-year contract in 2011. His production had declined to the point where fans were wondering if he was worth the money or simply dead weight.

    It wasn’t just his production or contract that was swirling around Woodley. Suddenly, his work ethic was called out by an anonymous player. Add all of those variables together, and you have the making of a player who turned from a fan favorite to a hot button topic among the fanbase.

    Don’t think for a second that the Pittsburgh Steelers organization hasn’t noticed either. When you give someone a six-year, $61.5 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed, you expect production.

    This contract was coming off Woodley’s trio of monster seasons starting in 2008. From 2008-2011, he never had a season with less than 10 sacks. Even in 2012, he was credited with nine, but a lot has changed since then. Maybe the most important is that James Harrison is no longer on the team and on the other side to take pressure off of Woodley. Simply put, he has looked like a shell of himself recently.

    In the offseason, Woodley declared that he would silence the critics — that he wasn’t going to talk the talk, but simply walk the walk. He showed up at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA for training camp in phenomenal shape, but that is all smoke and mirrors. Woodley’s season started off on the right note. In the first six games of this 2013 season, Woodley garnered five sacks. The only problem? That is when the production stopped and the injuries started.

    A nagging calf injury has kept Woodley off the field for the past three games, and backup outside linebacker Jason Worilds has filled in nicely. Worilds has been pressuring the quarterback, collapsing the pocket and making a name for himself in Woodley’s absence — all with a rookie in Jarvis Jones on the other side that hasn’t even breathed on a quarterback all season, let alone take pressure off of Worilds.

    Worilds has four sacks in his last four games and is already tied for the team lead with Woodley at five. Not surprisingly, some people are clamoring for Woodley to be released at season’s end.

    Some might see this as blasphemy and a knee-jerk reaction to a player that has simply suffered unfortunate injuries the past few seasons, but if you look at the logistics, you will see the fact that Woodley could be playing for his career with the Steelers.

    One of the biggest reasons for Woodley possibly being traded or released isn’t just his lack of production, but his lack of production on top of a contract that is weighing down the salary cap-strapped Steelers. Woodley is getting $10 million this season after the restructuring his contract, and $5.4 million was given to him via a signing bonus. Next season, Woodley is due $8 million, followed by $8.5 million and $9 million is the final year of his current contract.

    That is a lot of money to spend on a linebacker that simply hasn’t played up to snuff since 2010. This offseason, the Steelers will have a lot of tough decisions to make, and Woodley is one of those tough decisions. These last four games, Woodley will have to prove that he is worth his contract. If he doesn’t, there is a chance this might be his last year in the black and gold.

    http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2013/1...GotMPAT6C5k.99

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    We all knew that.
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    i liked woodley and really thought he was going to be a great player for a long time.
    the guy does a ton for the community and stays out of trouble. he hasnt ran his mouth in the social media like last year and hasnt been on tv much that ive noticed. i thought the guy had good all around character. that being said, it appears that woodley gave maxximum effort to earn the big paycheck. he seems satisfied with the amount of money he has made and the contribution he has given to the steelers and the nfl. too bad, he could have been one of the greats. hopefully he continues to be a positive influence in the community.
    1) CB D Dennard
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    4) WR M Bryant
    5a) OG D Yankey
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    Do we keep Woodley and let Woirlds walk or re-sign Worilds and cut ties with Woodley? To be honest, I really do not know which direction to take, if those are our only 2 options.

    Woodley had shown in his 1st 3 season's he is well worth his current contract, but his last year and 3/4th's he has shown to be injury prone and worth about a 3rd of his contract. Worilds is in his 3rd year and only in the last 6 games has shown the promise we all anticipated. He is in a contract year and could cash in if he continues performing at his current productivity level.

    It's a tough call because each player is giving you a new look and if these new looks are their ever lasting look then you have to go with Worilds.

    Who knows? I hope Kevin Colbert does......

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    Maybe this has all been a part of the Steelers grand plan? Woodley's play hasnt been up to his contract, so they need to see if Worilds can a) threaten Woodley into improving, or b) truly handle the starting role.
    Look, when given the opportunity Worilds has done fine. His first 3 seasons he started 10 times and had 10 sacks. This season he has started 9 games and has 7 sacks.

    Question the coaching staff needs to answer; is the player motivated simply by money, or does he aspire to be one of the football greats? They were fooled by Woodley, shame on them if they are fooled a second time.

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    Woodley still can be productive, I have no doubt about that. But his window as one of the game's premier outside rushers has CLOSED. He has wasted these past three prime years of his career. What needs to happen now, is to bring his salary back down to where he is now (a veteran, 8-sack-a-year guy).

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    this is a no brainer. woodley needs to be released or take a serious pay cut.
    there is no way woodley isnt aware of his situation. its talked about on radio, on tv, on the internet and is in print. worlids has severly outplayed him. after returning from his latest injury, i would have thought woodley really have to give his best effort to keep his job and his current contract. he didnt. so either he isnt physically able to be a playmaker anymore or he doesnt have the desire to do so. either way, we dont need a guy like that taking up so much of our cap

    will worilds take the same approach if hes given the big contract?.......who knows. what we do know is woodley cant or wont be the guy we need.
    hopefully the front office learns something to from extending contracts on aging, injury prone and loss of production players.....especially from ones that let themselves go in the off season and become fat.
    1) CB D Dennard
    2) OLB R Shazier
    3) DE J Ellis
    4) WR M Bryant
    5a) OG D Yankey
    5b) OLB J Tripp
    6a) RB D Archer
    6b) NT D McCullers
    7) WR J Janis

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    Robinson: Steelers all but have to keep Woodley, but what about Worilds?

    By Alan Robinson
    Published: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013

    As the Steelers begin weighing personnel moves they'll make before next season, one appears to be obvious.

    They need to find a way to bring back outside linebacker Jason Worilds, who has become a James Harrison-like sack machine with six sacks in six games and more quarterback hits than the rest of their outside linebackers combined. All this production followed a move to left outside linebacker.

    “I think he is emerging and developing like all players should,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “He is healthy, more healthy than he has been in recent years. … Also, I think he's a different, athletic matchup for right tackles. It's probably more of a level playing field with the athleticism of some left tackles in terms of matching his skill set.”

    Left side or right, it won't be that easy to bring back Worilds.

    He likely is playing himself into a contract worth tens of millions of dollars, but the salary cap-challenged Steelers could find such a deal difficult to make. Their most likely route to retaining him is to designate him as their franchise player, but that would guarantee him only one more season in Pittsburgh and could cost $9 million.

    Worilds and Brian Orakpo of the Washington Redskins figure to be the two most desirable 3-4 outside linebackers on the market. Worilds will be only 26 next season. He could sign a four-year contract and still not be out of his 20s when it expires.

    The two highest-priced outside linebackers this season were the Cleveland Browns' Paul Kruger ($40.5 million, five seasons) and the Philadelphia Eagles' Connor Barwin ($36 million, six seasons).

    So why don't the Steelers cut LaMarr Woodley, shed his huge salary and give that money to Worilds, who is five years younger and figures to have a bigger upside? Woodley will be 30 at the midpoint of next season, has had injury issues the past three seasons and has only nine sacks over the past two seasons.

    Here's why: Woodley has two seasons remaining on a contract that's worth $8 million in salary in 2014 and $8.58 million in 2015. But here's where it gets complicated: Woodley is set to count $13,590,000 against the salary cap in 2014 and $14,090,000 in 2015.

    So if the Steelers cut him before June 1, it would cost them more ($580,000) than it would to keep him and pay him in 2014. That's because the $14,170,000 in dead money owed to him (accumulated from various bonuses and contract restructurings) becomes due immediately.

    The Steelers could do what they did with offensive lineman Willie Colon and wait until June 1 to cut him, thus allowing them to defer $8,580,000 of Woodley's cap hit until 2015. But that would mean carrying Woodley on their books, at a sizable cost in salary cap space, for two more seasons. (And they already have $4.4 million in 2014 cap space devoted to writing off Colon's contract.)

    Also, Woodley's deal counts $13,590,000 against their cap until June 1. Such an amount would severely restrict their flexibility in signing players during free agency, which begins in early March.

    It's just the way the NFL does business. Even if it's not good business for the Steelers.

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2nZdOxxIy

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    I can't believe people are even asking if we keep Worilds. He's producing at a James Harrison type level. He'll be the highest paid FA this offseason if we let him go. I think we'll end up tagging him and doing a long term deal.

    Woodley's always disappeared during the season when he gets hurt annually. But when he's healthy, he's productive. We're stuck with him for at least another year. Hopefully he gets healthy and can play on the right. JJ has shown nothing to say he belongs at ROLB.

    In retrospect, I'm bummed we didn't stick with Robinson. That't the only guy that's shown he can rush the QB from ROLB. Everyone else has been relatively ineffective on the right, including Worilds. Maybe Woodley can get motivated to play the premiere position on this D.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    I can't believe people are even asking if we keep Worilds. He's producing at a James Harrison type level. He'll be the highest paid FA this offseason if we let him go. I think we'll end up tagging him and doing a long term deal.

    Woodley's always disappeared during the season when he gets hurt annually. But when he's healthy, he's productive. We're stuck with him for at least another year. Hopefully he gets healthy and can play on the right. JJ has shown nothing to say he belongs at ROLB.

    In retrospect, I'm bummed we didn't stick with Robinson. That't the only guy that's shown he can rush the QB from ROLB. Everyone else has been relatively ineffective on the right, including Worilds. Maybe Woodley can get motivated to play the premiere position on this D.
    I'd like to retain Worilds, but before the Steelers give him a Woodley level contract, it is worth considering that he has also been oft-injured throughout his career.

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