When Jason Worilds quickly agreed to the rarely used transition tag in March that guaranteed him $9.745 million for the upcoming season, it was under the assumption that number wouldn’t stick by the time the Steelers’ season started.
The feeling at the time was that the Steelers would be highly motivated to sign Worilds to a long term deal to ease the near-$10 million cap hit for the then cap-strapped Steelers.
But with the cap unexpectedly jumping $10 million to $133 million and the extra money created by the release of LaMarr Woodley, the motivation to get a deal done quickly waned.
Now, it looks like Worilds will be playing under a one-year deal.
I was told that Worilds was not offered a contract by the Steelers and that there have been no talks between the two sides since Worilds agreed to the transition tag three months ago. It was recently reported that Worilds rejected a contract offer by the Steelers, which remains on the table.
It is not unusual for there to be two different stories during contract negotiations. In fact, it’s the norm, so take it for what is worth.
Worilds would not comment on his contract situation when I asked, and that’s about status quo for him. Worilds is a very quiet and guarded individual that would never talk about something as sensitive as his contract situation.
Worilds was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. In his career, Worilds has started 21 regular-season games and registered 18 sacks and three forced fumbles. Last season, he set career highs in starts (11), tackles (54), sacks (eight) and forced fumbles (two).
Worst case scenario for Worilds is to play this season for nearly $10 million and do it all over again next year. The Steelers could transition tag him again or even franchise tag him.