But that is apparently the case as, according to numerous sources, Worilds has signed his transition tender worth $9.75 million.
That alone is great news for the Steelers, but they could be getting a dose of better news coming soon. Media sources have also indicated that Worilds and the Steelers have made progress towards a long-term deal.
Worilds’ signing the transition tender is big because it prevents any team from trying to step in sign him away from the Steelers in the coming week. With free agency beginning on March 11, that is one fewer problem general manager Kevin Colbert has to worry about.
Now, getting a long-term deal done with Worilds is top priority, not only to keep him in black and gold for the foreseeable future, but to lessen the cap hit this upcoming season.
Worilds, 25, produced 63 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles this season and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 12 3-4 outside linebacker in the league.
The next question is what happens to fellow outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who is almost certain to be released. I highly doubt the Steelers would keep Woodley at his current cap figure of $13.6 million with Worilds locked up long-term.
The likely scenario is that the Steelers will likely have to designate Woodley as a post-June 1 release, which would free up $8 million in cap space.
However, at the end of the day, Worilds was the Steelers’ top priority. Colbert and his staff got their man.