The Pittsburgh Steelers have generally been expected to release under-performing 29-year-old outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, and that expectation became a certainty when the Steelers ended up retaining Jason Worilds, who had an excellent, breakout 2013 campaign and was considerably better than Woodley, who has just nine combined sacks in the past two seasons after recording nine sacks in 2011. Woodley has fallen off a cliff, though he did play better in 2013 than 2012.
When the Steelers decided to surprise everyone by placing the transition tag on Worilds, then Woodley’s status with the Steelers really came into doubt. That’s why nobody should be surprised to hear ESPN’s Adam Schefter report that the Steelers will release LaMarr Woodley tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET (one hour after free agency officially starts) and designate him as a post-June 1st casualty. Since he will be released tomorrow, Schefter reports that Woodley is free to sign with other teams tomorrow, and it will be interesting to see how much interest he gets. He has plenty of talent, but he has work ethic concerns and is coming off of two very poor seasons.
Woodley was overpaid, and the Steelers just couldn’t afford to keep him and Worilds at the rate he is expected to be paid. The logic behind the move seems simple enough to understand, as Worilds is better than Woodley and it just wasn’t economically feasible for the Steelers organization to keep both around. Plus, one of them (Woodley, really) would have logjammed promising first-round pick Jarvis Jones, who is a potential breakout player in the future.