Colbert: Steelers willing to let linebacker Worilds test open market
February 18, 2015 12:52 PM
Jason Worilds lands a big hit on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in December at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
INDIANAPOLIS – It doesn’t sound as though the Steelers have any intention of preventing outside linebacker Jason Worilds from becoming a free agent.
General manager Kevin Colbert said today the Steelers are willing to let Worilds test the open market when the free agency period begins March 10.
The Steelers would like to sign Worilds to a long-term contract, but it is highly unlikely they will use the transition tag on him again because of the amount of money it will cost to do so.
“He understands that if he doesn’t get tagged, which we could still do, he will explore the market and see what is out there,” Colbert said at the NFL combine. “We will stay in communication. Maybe he comes back. Maybe he moves on. But he’s been a good player for us and we would love to have him back if it all fits.”
If the Steelers would put the transition tag on Worilds, the price would be nearly $12 million, if not more, for the 2015 season.
Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, players who are tagged two years in a row have to receive a 20 percent increase from the previous year. Worilds was paid $9.754 million in 2014 -- the average salary of the top 10 outside linebackers in the league – after receiving the transition tag.
That would put his guaranteed salary for 2015 at $11.7 million.
If the average salary of the top 10 outside backers is higher than the 20 percent increase, Worilds would receive that amount instead.
Teams were allowed to tag players beginning Monday.
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