My Take on the Pittsburgh Steelers' $61.5 Million "Mistake"

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse


LaMarr Woodley signing his contract, Image Courtesy of 961kiss.com

Many in Steeler Nation were applauding the Front Office this past offseason when Colbert & Crew handed over a 6 year $61.5 million contract to OLB LaMarr Woodley to keep him in the Steel City.  Sure it was nice to see the Steelers retain one of their own players, but I’ve got to ask one simple question:  Did they really need to pay that kind of money to retain Woodley’s supposedly irreplaceable services?  To make matters worse, the Steelers’ already thin and terrible Offensive Line was affected by this wasteful splurge of cash.  The unit which got zero Free Agent upgrades this past offseason is now seeing their sub-par spare parts struggling to keep their QB and themselves out of the Emergency Room.  Sure, some teams’ Front Office’s neglect obvious needs and overpay jagoff players that are supposedly good (see: Redskins, Washington), but I always thought that the Steelers were above that type of negligent garbage.

So for my newest article I would like to discuss the following: First, I will delve into the specific reasons why I believe that the F.O.’s signing of Woodley to a long-term contract was an imprudent economic and football move for the franchise as a whole.  Next, I will examine what sorts of upgrades the Steelers could have made along the O-Line amongst the 2011 Free Agent pool had that money not been spent on Woodley.  Finally, I will conclude the article by sharing my thoughts on where the Steelers’ F.O. should go from here.  Hit the “More” button if you want to keep reading or leave me comments telling me what an idiot I supposedly am:

What Happened This Offseason:

Worilds had a great game against Miami last season, and showcased his freakishly raw talent, Image Courtesy of naplesnews.com

When I found out that there was a strong possibility that Ike Taylor might be leaving via Free Agency and the Franchise Tag might be needed to keep him around, I was actually against the Steelers bringing Woodley back to the team if that would have meant Ike packing his bags.  Ike is without a doubt the best CB on the roster, one of the most underrated CB’s in the League, and is far more meaningful to the Steelers’ overall defensive success than Woodley (i.e. Ike is the only competent CB on the team).  Just consult a depth chart of the Steelers’ CB’s and you’ll understand my argument without any trouble.  The F.O. decided against the Franchise Tag for Ike and instead used it on LaMarr who was given a 1 year $10+ million tender to stay in Pittsburgh. Thankfully the F.O. stepped up and re-signed Ike (who has been the best Defender on the team all season) to a 4 year contract.

I eventually came around to the idea of Woodley being franchised, and I mean it did seem like a practical move made by the the F.O. that was in the best interests of the team overall.  I figured that Woodley would essentially be a mercenary for one final year while Jason Worilds and Chris Carter developed into the next prime-time OLB’s that the Steelers usually churn out every 5 years or so.  With him locked up for one contract year, the franchise could let Woodley hit Free Agency in 2012 and allow some team overpay for his services.  You know, the kind of intelligent thinking and savvy business sense that both Steeler GM’s Donahoe and Colbert have utilized over the last two decades.

Instead, the F.O. acted irrationally and pulled a Jerry Maguire by “showing LaMarr the money!” and gave Woodley his massive long-term contract!  Since he got his money, people and media pundits alike have begun to notice that LaMarr has been virtually non-existent out on the field in 2011.  And as I intend to illustrate below, all signs should have pointed to the Front Office not handing him one red cent outside of the Franchise Tender:

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Next Steelers Game View full schedule »
Thursday, Aug 2828 Aug7:30Carolina PanthersBuy Tickets

  • NiyiDelano

    I could not agree more with your post. I will even go one further and say Timmons should not have been given his contract, or at least not at that price.

  • NiyiDelano

    I could not agree more with your post. I will even go one further and say Timmons should not have been given his contract, or at least not at that price.

  • DomDiTolla

    I appreciate the kind words. The reason I didn’t rag on Timmons and his new deal is that he is far more versatile than Woodley and he plays a much bigger role in the Defense’s success. Plus he’s only scratching the surface of his potential and prime because he just turned 25 this year and is still learning the nuances of the ILB position.

  • DomDiTolla

    I appreciate the kind words. The reason I didn’t rag on Timmons and his new deal is that he is far more versatile than Woodley and he plays a much bigger role in the Defense’s success. Plus he’s only scratching the surface of his potential and prime because he just turned 25 this year and is still learning the nuances of the ILB position.

  • Lenroy_Stevens

    just finished chewing through that article and I appreciate the time and analysis you clearly put into this article. I am not a Steelers fan but it is certainly curious as to why a great franchise has not fixed what has been a major problem for so long.

  • Lenroy_Stevens

    just finished chewing through that article and I appreciate the time and analysis you clearly put into this article. I am not a Steelers fan but it is certainly curious as to why a great franchise has not fixed what has been a major problem for so long.

  • DomDiTolla

    Well thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you appreciate my writing style and the effort I put into it. I do articles every Wednesday and Saturday if you would like to keep reading.

  • DomDiTolla

    Well thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you appreciate my writing style and the effort I put into it. I do articles every Wednesday and Saturday if you would like to keep reading.

  • http://joeyporterspitbulls.blogspot.com/ Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls

    Holy cow, this is quite a thorough, detailed analysis. So, where was this article BEFORE they signed Woodley? Huh? You should have called Omar Khan or whatever his name is. This contract really puts the Steelers in a bind. Woodley was invisible all during the Houston game — except when he over-ran Arian Foster before flailing on a futile attempt to tackle him on the 42-yard TD run that clinched the game. And you’re right about his pass-coverage skills. Tight ends will continue to be a problem, and unless he’s getting to the QB, he does nothing for the team.

    All of a sudden, the Steelers’ vaunted linebacking corps looks mortal. Woodley will continue to play, but maybe it’s time for Stevenson Sylvester to get some snaps at inside linebacker. It was painful watching James Farrior and Larry Foote futilely chasing Texans yesterday..

    As for the offensive line, it’s a shambles, but it was a mess before the season even began. Bring back Shar Pourdanesh! … the Shar of Iran!

  • http://joeyporterspitbulls.blogspot.com/ Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls

    Holy cow, this is quite a thorough, detailed analysis. So, where was this article BEFORE they signed Woodley? Huh? You should have called Omar Khan or whatever his name is. This contract really puts the Steelers in a bind. Woodley was invisible all during the Houston game — except when he over-ran Arian Foster before flailing on a futile attempt to tackle him on the 42-yard TD run that clinched the game. And you’re right about his pass-coverage skills. Tight ends will continue to be a problem, and unless he’s getting to the QB, he does nothing for the team.

    All of a sudden, the Steelers’ vaunted linebacking corps looks mortal. Woodley will continue to play, but maybe it’s time for Stevenson Sylvester to get some snaps at inside linebacker. It was painful watching James Farrior and Larry Foote futilely chasing Texans yesterday..

    As for the offensive line, it’s a shambles, but it was a mess before the season even began. Bring back Shar Pourdanesh! … the Shar of Iran!

  • AdamMeckler

    Sorry I missed this when it was first posted. I’ve been talking about this exact thing with some friends I watch the games with here in MN. You’re absolutely right. Woodley should have never been paid like that with so many glaring holes. Wish I had seen it myself sooner. This is a wonderful article and I’m glad I took the time to read the whole thing, I hope others do as well.

  • AdamMeckler

    Sorry I missed this when it was first posted. I’ve been talking about this exact thing with some friends I watch the games with here in MN. You’re absolutely right. Woodley should have never been paid like that with so many glaring holes. Wish I had seen it myself sooner. This is a wonderful article and I’m glad I took the time to read the whole thing, I hope others do as well.

  • DomDiTolla

    @AdamMeckler Thanks for the kind words Adam. I’m glad there are others that at least questioned the wasteful economic and football move made by the Front Office with regards to Woodley this offseason.

  • DomDiTolla

    @AdamMeckler Thanks for the kind words Adam. I’m glad there are others that at least questioned the wasteful economic and football move made by the Front Office with regards to Woodley this offseason.

  • DomDiTolla

    @Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls Tip of the cap on the Pourdanesh reference! Top notch sir in terms of humor and camp value. Anyways, thank you for the kudos on my article. I also like your take on giving Sylvester some reps.. For me it’s a tad cringing to see him and the other Special Teams demon Worilds rot on the bench. Thanks again and I appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings.

  • DomDiTolla

    @Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls Tip of the cap on the Pourdanesh reference! Top notch sir in terms of humor and camp value. Anyways, thank you for the kudos on my article. I also like your take on giving Sylvester some reps.. For me it’s a tad cringing to see him and the other Special Teams demon Worilds rot on the bench. Thanks again and I appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings.

  • Pingback: Grab that Lunch Pail, Jason Worilds: It's Your Time to Shine for the Steelers - Nice Pick, Cowher - A Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

  • Pingback: 2013 NFL Mock Draft: The Pittsburgh Steelers Select... - Nice Pick, Cowher - A Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

  • Pingback: I Wonder What Humble Pie Tastes Like to Steelers Linebacker LaMarr Woodley? - Nice Pick, Cowher - A Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

  • Pingback: LaMarr Woodley Deserves Spot on La Canfora's "Worst Contracts Team" - Nice Pick, Cowher - A Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

  • Pingback: I Tried to Warn You About LaMarr Woodley's Fat Contract... - Nice Pick, Cowher - A Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.