Steelers 2015 Unsigned Free Agents: LB Jason Worilds


The Steelers faced a decision on whether or not to keep linebacker Jason Worilds last season and ended up signing him to the transition tag and releasing LaMarr Woodley. This offseason, they’re faced with the task of re-signing Worilds to a long-term deal.

Even though the Steelers parted ways with Dick LeBeau earlier this month, the Steelers defense isn’t likely to undergo a dramatic change going forward under Keith Butler. The Steelers still need to get after the quarterback and stop the run. They need outside linebackers to achieve those defensive goals.

Only six teams had fewer sacks than the Steelers (33) did in 2014. Worilds finished the season with 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one interception. He also earned $9.74 million under the transition tag.

Worilds was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft out of Virginia Tech. He started all 16 games of the 2014 season for the Steelers and tied Cameron Heyward for the team lead in sacks. This was actually Worilds’ first season as a full-time starter and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent on March 10th if the Steelers do not tag him or sign him to a long-term deal before then.

When Steelers President Art Rooney II spoke earlier this week, he expressed interest in keeping Worilds with the Steelers.

"“I can say I would like to have Jason back. Like anything else we’ll have to come to a contract agreement with him that both sides can live with, and we’ll see where that goes.” – Art Rooney II"

Worilds was praised by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin in his season-ending press conference and it seems as though all signs are pointing to the Steelers re-signing Worilds. I wouldn’t put it past them to tag him again just to avoid having him hit free agency. With the coach and owner both positive about keeping him, I’d say chances are the Steelers are already working to re-sign him.

Right now the only contracted linebacker going forward is Jarvis Jones. Worilds finished with 18 quarterback pressures. He definitely improved later in the season when he rushed the quarterback more and got four out of his 7 ½ sacks in the final five games. I would probably bet that the starting outside linebackers of the Steelers future are Worilds and Jones.

What do you think Steeler Nation? Do you think the Steelers re-sign Jason Worilds? Do you think they tag him to make sure he doesn’t hit free agency?

Next: Steelers Offseason Preview: Part 3

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