2014 UFAs, The Pittsburgh Steelers and Who Should Stay

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Must Re-Sign

Jason Worilds (OLB), Al Woods (DE/NT), Jerricho Cotchery (WR), Jonathan Dwyer (RB), Fernando Velasco (C/OG), Greg Warren (LS) and Mat McBriar (P)


The Steelers must find a way to bring back Jason Worilds. Their sack leader from the 2013 campaign finally emerged as the pass-rushing threat many had hoped he would become when he was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Signing Worilds should be of the utmost importance for Pittsburgh’s brass, especially since it would allow them to finally release LaMarr ‘Mr. Stay Puft’ Woodley.

I would also like to see the Steelers try to ink Al Woods to another deal as well. Woods has fought his way into the defensive line rotation over the last two seasons, and his versatility should make him a fixture in the trenches for an extended period of time.

Veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery also deserves a new deal as well. Cotchery led Pittsburgh in touchdown receptions in 2013 with 10, and he also collected 46 catches and 602 receiving yards to boot. A sure-handed and reliable pass-catcher, Cotchery could be just the type of inexpensive yet effective player the Steelers extend during the upcoming offseason.

As long as he is fully recovered from his Achilles injury, I would love to see the Steelers ink Fernando Velasco to a new deal for depth purposes. The veteran proved to be a reliable stop-gap at the center position this fall after Maurkice Pouncey went down with his knee injury in Week 1. Velasco started 11 games for Pittsburgh before he went down in the waning minutes of the team’s Thanksgiving loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Like Velasco, I would love to see the Steelers bring back Jonathan Dwyer for depth purposes as well. Even though he was released by the Steelers after preseason play, Dwyer emerged as a reliable short-yardage back this fall behind Le’Veon Bell. Dwyer’s work on special teams and his ability to spell Bell could make him someone the Steelers elect to extend this spring.

Long snapper Greg Warren has been a rock for the Steelers since he entered the league in 2005, and Mat McBriar at least deserves another shot to compete for the starting role as a punter in 2014. Both can be inked to relatively cheap deals, so it would benefit Pittsburgh to have both players return next year.

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Tags: Emmanuel Sanders Jason Worilds Pittsburgh Steelers Ziggy Hood

  • muku

    The only way Sanders can be released is if Wheaton majorly improves.

    • Dom DiTolla

      First, Sanders cannot be released since his rookie contract is expiring. Second, the team can keep Wheaton as their #3/#4 target if they keep Cotchery and draft someone like Mike Evans or Marqise Lee early.

      • muku

        I just meant that letting Sanders go would be stupid, unless Wheaton improved… Wishing they draft some one early is kinda crazy as they have bigger needs elsewhere

        • Dom DiTolla

          Defensive needs might be pressing, but the question of whether or not those guys will play is a completely different matter altogether.

    • Kick

      I am afraid sanders will end up a patriot and his potential will be realized. I say we resign him as long as it doesn’t break the bank,

  • Kick

    I agree with everything except keisel. We need him to sign to the veteran minimum.

    • Dom DiTolla

      Can’t say I disagree. If they have enough to ink him cheaply I’d say do it, but Mitchell seems to be high on Woods, Arnfelt and even Nick Williams.

      • Kick

        What we really need is a replacement for Casey Hampton. Our d just doesn’t look the same.

  • CaptainAge

    Personally, I wouldn’t re-sign Worilds. He hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy and the Steelers already have a LB on the team that takes up a lot of their cap and is unable to stay on the field. That being said, I would re-sign Cotchery, Jones, and Wallace – I’d love to have Valasco but for the price he’s likely going to want, and the team set at the guard positions – he would be an expensive insurance policy.
    Aside from that, I’d draft a NT and move McLendon to Hoods now vacant position.

  • Mike

    Personally, looking at how well the OL played with Velasco at C, I would move on from Pouncey. He is injury riddled, and next year he will command a hefty salary. I would not take a chance on his health next year or the ability to resign him going forward. I would try to package him up with Gilbert and send them to Miami for Jonathan Martin and a 2nd rounder. Insert Martin at RT next to his college teammate David DeCastro (where the Cardinal played a power running game and kept Luck clean), keep Beachum at LT and use Adams as a back up for the T spots. I would then draft a C/G in the draft, someone like Yancey from Stanford (I do like those Stanford lineman) to back up at those positions, and eventually take over for Ramon. I think, if the Steelers could do something creative like this, it will help the cap situation next year, free up money to sign Velasco this year, and really solidify our OL into this teams strength. A lot of sins on defense can be covered up with an offense that can control the clock, deflate the ball at the end of halfs and be a threat to score on every possession. I love where the offense if going, I would get in a TE like Ebron or Jenkins early too. Run two TE sets, run the no huddle, get up on other teams and force them to be one dimensional.

    • Dom DiTolla

      Velasco is nowhere near the run blocker Pouncey is, particularly from an athletic standpoint. Also, why would you want Johnathan Martin? How can that guy gain any trust in any professional locker room again? Moreover, who the hell would trade anything for Marcus Gilbert? He’s an injury prone joke who is a liability in pass protection, and Mike Adams could very well beat him out for his RT spot next fall.

      Who is Yancey from Stanford? I know a David Yankey from Stanford who can be a solid guard at the professional level. Yet why would the Steelers take a left guard to sit on the bench behind Ramon Foster, who is only turning 28 next week and has only played on full season at left guard, in the first of second round when they have so many other needs to address?

      I wholeheartedly agree with the notion of going TE early however.

  • [email protected]

    Hey, Dom, even though he is not a FA, what do you think about the Steelers cutting Lamar Woodley and using that money to sign Worilds? Seems like Woodley’s best days are behind him……

    • Craig

      I’ll throw in my 2 cents – the timing is not right for that scenario. Need to sign Worilds when free agency opens up and not delay. Cutting Woodley that soon would cost Steelers more money. He costs less in dead money after June 1st.

    • Dom DiTolla

      I would love for nothing more than to see that fat pile of excrement removed from the roster. I was one of the few who saw the impending financial disaster which signing him to a long-term deal would be back in 2011, so I hope that the front office releases him. Of course, the cap hit to do so would be huge, and the team must find a way to ink Worilds long-term as well.