A source close to longtime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette says that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Al Woods signed a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday afternoon.
While the player and the team have yet to confirm, this would be a difficult blow to a Steelers defense trying to put more of the load on youth. At 26, Woods appears to be on the front side of a promising prime, as he played all 16 games last fall and started a pair.
The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Woods was drafted in the fourth round by the Saints in 2010, but he played in just nine games in his first two seasons in the NFL. After he spent a year on the Steelers sideline in 2011, the former LSU Tiger got into 12 tilts in 2012.
Woods accumulated a pair of sacks and 16 combined tackles in 2013. If he indeed leaves, that would hurt the Steelers’ defensive-line depth and possibly force them to re-sign Ziggy Hood, Brett Keisel or both to complement fellow DE Cameron Heyward.
UPDATE (8:45 p.m.) – According to Titans beat writer Jim Wyatt, it’s a two-year, $5 million contract for Woods.
Keep it here on City of Champions for more coverage of NFL free agency from a Pittsburgh perspective.