Blueprint in place to resign Woodley


Talks of a long-term deal for Steelers linebacker Lamarr Woodley have begun to heat up as the dog days of training camp continue to press on.

If the Steelers were looking for a blueprint of what it will take to sign the five-year veteran, the team will need to look no further than Kansas City, who recently inked a new deal with its standout linebacker Tamba Hali.

Hali, who has been in the league for six years, put up very similar numbers to Woodley last season, making the two stud linebackers prime candidates for big time contracts. That was exactly what Hali got Wednesday when he signed a five-year $60 million deal with $35 million guaranteed.

Last season, Hali recorded 51 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles for the Chiefs, who advanced to the playoffs and ended up losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round.

Woodley, whose numbers last season were equally impressive, recorded 50 tackles, 10 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions while having to share quarterback crunching duties with pro bowl linebacker James Harrison.

After refusing to talk about a contract extension with Woodley during the 2010 season, the team promised to take care of its star once the season was finished. Woodley was slapped with the franchise tag, which would pay him roughly $10 million this coming season. I would say that could be considered taking care of one of your elite players. But with Woodley’s exceptional talent, the Steelers are looking to lock the Michigan alum up long term, as he will surely play an intricate role in the Steelers punishing defense for years to come.

Getting Woodley signed to a long-term deal will also help the entire team remain under the salary cap for the coming season by spreading out the money he would be receiving over multiple years. I am not worried that the Steelers will get a deal done with Woodley in the coming weeks….. I mean c’mon, we want Woodley to be completely focused when he has to back up the offseason smack talk with the Ravens in just a few short weeks!