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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Worilds retires and other thoughts from a crazy first day of free agency

News of Patrick Willis and Jake Locker retiring earlier in the day did not prepare me for the news that Jason Worilds also was retiring.

Worilds announced his retirement on Twitter around midnight Tuesday evening, walking away from football despite entering free agency earlier in the day.

Worilds had received interest from at least three teams - Tennessee, Philadelphia and the Giants - and the Steelers were still in the running for his return. Instead, Worilds decided he had had enough.

Some will question the move. I won't.

It's his decision, his body and he, according to his Twitter feed, has other things he'd like to do.

Good for him.

Worilds made $9.7 million last season as the Steelers' transition player. He's likely walking away from a payday that would have brought him more than that this year - when his signing bonus would have been factored in.

But he decided to walk away.

@ The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly contacted the agent for Steelers free agent cornerback Brice McCain about the possibility of at least bringing him in for a visit.

It's also being reported that he will visit Miami.

McCain, like Arthur Moats and Matt Spaeth, who were re-signed by the Steelers Monday, isn't a big-name free agent. But like Moats and Spaeth, he's a guy the Steelers would like to bring back.

Given some of the money being thrown around in the cornerback market, however, McCain would be a fool not to at least listen to what's out there.

@ Former Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley will sign with the Arizona Cardinals, according to Adam Shefter.

Woodley was released by the Steelers last year and "played" for the Raiders in 2014.

He is still on the salary cap books for both of those teams. In fact, Woodley still counts $8.5 million against the Steelers' cap this season because he was designated as a post-June 1 cut last year.

That cap hit ranks as the second highest on the team after only quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The Woodley deal, when he signed it, was considered a good one for a young player coming off a string of very good seasons.

But Woodley's talent fell off the cliff quickly, something nobody could have projected.

@ The Steelers - at least Ben Roethlisberger - perhaps did a little rejoicing on Tuesday afternoon as the story broke that Haloti Ngata had been traded by the Ravens to Detroit.

The Ravens received 4th and 5th rounds picks, while Detroit also gets Baltimore's 7th rounder.

The Ravens also lost wide receiver Torrey Smith, who signed with the 49ers, another team that's on the Steelers' schedule next year that's undergoing major changes.

Also out in Baltimore are Pernell McPhee and Owen Daniels at this point. Ravens are going to have some holes to fill.

@ Former Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis has reportedly asked the cash-strapped Saints to guarantee the final three seasons of his contract or release him.

If that happens, expect the Steelers to be interested in bringing him back.

@ The Steelers made an inquiry call to the agent of free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis. But the asking price was too rich.

@ The Steelers, as has typically been the case, sat and watched everything else happen.

But they might have had a better day than Baltimore and Cleveland, both of which suffered some big free agent losses.


marc said...

a million dollars a sack, right.

KT said...

I'd welcome Keenan Lewis back with open arms. Thanks for the report Dale.

Not to be a smart alec, but on the Woodley front, I can say that Michael Bean, founder and former editor of Behind the Steel Curtain is the one person who predicted that Woodley wouldn't finish is Steelers contract because of durability issues.

Joe Jones said...

Would've been cool to convince Revis to sign a 1-yr contract with the 2015-16 Super Bowl favorite Steelers.

That guy love his poker chips though. Already cashed in with his Patriots run.

I real like Marcus Peters. I'd take him over any free agent corner left including potentially Keenan Lewis

adamg said...

Graham/Unger NO/Seattle trade seems weird. Why give up a young anchor C for a pass-catching TE? I know Graham is good, but for a team built around a running game and scrambling qb, not sure giving up your center is smart.

Patrick said...

and then Jason Worilds retired....

Anonymous said...


Zeke R said...

What the heck, that is a shocker but it gives us cap room. I guess.

Joe Jones said...

He was a free agent. It doesn't change our cap only that he's no longer an option.
Orakpo anyone?

Dale Lolley said...

I'd still say no to Orokpo - injury history stinks - but Morgan, Sheard and even James Harrison are distinct possibilities now.

Patrick said...

if I put my body through hell from 10 or 12 years old until 27 and took home millions of dollars, I think this thought would cross my mind too.

I don't blame him. BUT don't be surprised if he is playing football next year when he realizes what he gave up.

adamg said...

Worilds probably made around 15M in his career. If he manages his $s wisely, he's set. I guess for him, football was a means to an end, not an end in itself. Good for him.

marc said...

You have to wish him the best and hope he doesn't have second thoughts six months from now. Makes you wonder if steelers knew something was up.

Sheard visited the patriots last night. He transitioned to OLB last two years with Browns. I wonder if he wants to go back to DL.

Anonymous said...

Retirement WFH? Some wealth to pass on for another generation if you're smart about it. I mean, I could find something about football to like.

Anonymous said...

Dale, some miami beat writer said the steelers have an 3 year offer on the table for McCain, you think it's true?

Zeke R said...

I was thinking ahead. If we were to sign him to a 6-7 mil deal, with 15 mil up front and then he fell flat on his face because his heart wasn't in it.

Easley said...

Good for Worilds. A guy with a sensible head on his shoulders and a competent money manager should be easily set for a few lifetimes off the money he's made already.

I wonder if we'll start seeing more of these early retirements now that players are learning so much more about the long-term damage the game inflicts.

Dale Lolley said...

The Steelers had talks with McCain's agent. Certainly wouldn't surprise me if they had an offer on the table. As I said, he'd be a fool not to at least shop around

deljzc said...

Timmons ($12.6 million) and Antonio Brown ($9.8 million) both have cap hits higher than Woodley's dead money.

Anonymous said...

Woodley's cap hit is #4, not #2. Roethlisberger, Timmons and Brown rank him.