Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Worilds Making Case to Stay in Pittsburgh


 

I will admit it, I thought that Jason Worilds’ days with the Steelers were numbered after he lost his starting job to rookie Jarvis Jones at right outside linebacker. While Worilds had been the team’s primary backup at the left outside linebacker spot during his first three years in the league, the fact that he was unable to hold off a rookie for James Harrison’s old spot was worrisome.

To Worilds’ credit though, he didn’t cave after he surrendered his starting job in his contract season. He not only usurped the former Georgia Bulldog for the starting job on the right side, he has now established himself as the most effective outside linebacker and pass rusher on Pittsburgh’s roster.

Over the last five weeks, Worilds has racked up 5.0 of his team-leading 6.0 sacks, made 28 tackles, and provided a tremendous amount of pocket collapse on the edges. I should also mention that the former Virginia Tech Hokie has actually done most of his damage setting the edge against the run and attacking opposing signal-callers on the left side as opposed to the right.

In fact, Worilds has stepped in for LaMarr “Mr. Stay Puft” Woodley at the left outside linebacker position during the last three weeks and done a tremendous job in place of the underachieving veteran. Just last night, Worilds racked up 10 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and forced a fumble against the Baltimore Ravens from Woodley’s old spot.

Now fully healed from a wrist injury and a subsequent which he underwent in 2012, Pittsburgh’s 2010 second round pick has finally been able to illustrate what he can do when he has been given the opportunity to start. Unfortunately for the Steelers, Worilds’ rookie contract will be expiring at the end of this season. This in turn will force Pittsburgh’s front office to make an extremely difficult decision:

 

Will the cap-strapped franchise allow the up-and-coming Worilds to walk?

Or will they release the injury-prone, salary cap-albatross known as “Woodley” to free up extra money to ink Worilds and other impending free agents?

 

At least to me, the choice is quite clear. Jarvis Jones has the tools to be a solid player at the right outside linebacker spot down the road for this franchise, and he will only continue to improve with game experience. In addition, Worilds has illustrated how comfortable yet explosive he can be as a strongside pass-rusher from the left side. Furthermore, his price tag, age, and recent bill of health make him the left outside linebacker for this cap-strapped team to build around, not “Mr. Stay Puft.”

As of now, I’m officially on the “Keep Worilds” bandwagon. So if that means dumping expensive veterans who are past their primes like Woodley and Ike Taylor to keep him, then I am completely on board with that as well.

 

 

 

Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.comSteelers.com , Spotrac, and Pro Football Reference

 

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Tags: Jarvis Jones Jason Worilds Lamarr Woodley Outside Linebacker Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Joe Longo

    This is what I would do. First, cut Keisel, clark, foote, Ike, and sign troy to a reasonable contract, or say goodbye..this is tough, but it is essential. I would sit BB down and work out a 5 year deal to take a reasonable contract and tell him he will do the play calling. This will make him happy and take less than 20 million and also tell him we will sign other players around him with the saved money. I would sign piggy to a reasonable contract. Then I would sign Somolai the NT from the dolphins to fill a hugh hole in the line. I would also sign a safety for a reasonable contract. Going forward, I would draft in the first round sammy watkins from clemson giving BB a huge target that he always wanted.

    • Dom DiTolla

      First of all, they don’t have to cut Keisel or Clark. Their contracts expire at the end of the regular season. Also it’s Paul Soliai, not Somolai. Finally, Mike Evans of Texas A&M is the type of big bodied target they need as opposed to Watkins.

      • SamyyCiao

        Keep up this line of thinking we have to shed old timers who while dureing their prime are now done – cut Troy he has lost 3 steps, cut Foote, Woodely, Ike, do not resign Clark or Kiesel – resign Worilds, cut Adams also!

    • SamyyCiao

      Some good thoughts for a change on this board!

  • Nick Kelly

    Even if the Steelers wanted to cut Woodley, they really couldn’t. He would have so much dead money that the Steelers can’t afford. Only way Woodley is not a Steeler next year is if he is traded.

    • Dom DiTolla

      I know. I can dream, can’t I? Lol. Seriously though, they never should have handed that overrated tub of lard an extension in the first place. Should have either let him walk or be a merc for a year on the franchise tag.

    • SamyyCiao

      Wrong – Steelers can save a ton of cap money by cutting him after the season – only dead money is what was guaranteed – nothing else – your living in the past player agreemets — cut Woodley asap just like we did with Colon – he is injury prone and gets out of shape easily Jasonis a better investment!

      • Nick Kelly

        Im not saying we should keep Woodley. And yes you are correct that it wouldn’t really affect the cap, but cutting him would equate 19 million in dead money.

        • SamyyCiao

          Wrong – you are not up to speed on the term dead money!