The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking at their roster during the offseason after another disappointing season, which could lead to many of notable veterans being released. One of those players that could be on the chopping block appears to be linebacker LaMarr Woodley.
On Tuesday, the team placed Woodley on the injured reserve list and now his future is in doubt.
“He’s been solid, not only this season but over the course of his career,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “But obviously, particularly in recent years, he’s had to battle some injuries, unfortunately for him and for us.”
According to CBS Sports, Woodley could be released this offseason in order to save some cap room and turn to cheaper, more effective talent.
Now, two years after Woodley signed a six-year, $61.5 million deal, there’s the very real possibility that the Steelers release him this offseason. Partly due to his exorbitant salary not matching his production, but also because Jason Worilds, a 2010 second-round pick, has dominated this season (60 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles).
Worilds is four years younger than Woodley, but he’s also in the final year of his rookie deal. Which means that the Steelers will have to sign him in the offseason — and that won’t come cheap after his breakout performance — before deciding to part ways with Woodley, who is scheduled to make $8 million, $8.5 million, and $9 million the next three seasons.
Woodley is just one of many veterans who the Steelers could part ways with after the season. The Steelers could also look to rid the defense of safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, in a move that the Pittsburgh fans would likely be upset with.
In the end, it would all be for the best as the team looks towards getting younger moving forward.