Steelers sign second-rounder Worilds for four years
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The Steelers, racing the clock to keep a five-year streak of no rookie holdouts intact, will have at least one of their two top draft picks join them when they report to training camp Friday.
Linebacker Jason Worilds, their second-round draft choice, came to a contract agreement Wednesday night. The length is four years, but financial terms were unavailable.
That leaves only first-round pick Maurkice Pouncey unsigned, putting in jeopardy the Steelers' streak of having all their rookies signed and in training camp on time. Ben Roethlisberger was the last rookie who missed the opening of camp; he signed a contract four days after players reported in 2004.
Pouncey's agent, Joel Segal, is negotiating a five-year deal with the Steelers.
Part of the problem with Pouncey is that not much of the ice has been broken in the first round.
The only first-round draft picks signed are wide receiver Dez Bryant of Dallas and cornerback Devin McCourty, who signed with New England Wednesday. Both players received five-year contracts and both were drafted below Pouncey -- Bryant at No. 24 and McCourty at No. 27.
Pouncey, drafted at No. 18, played center at Florida, but he will be given an opportunity to win the starting job at right guard this season with the Steelers.
Worilds, who played defensive end at Virginia Tech, has moved to outside linebacker.
The Steelers had $2,119,270 of cap room in their rookie salary pool before Worilds signed.
That cap is based on salary and pro-rated signing bonus in 2010 and represents virtually 40 percent of their entire cap to sign their 10-member rookie draft class. They used 59.23 percent to sign their other eight draft picks.
Those eight players all signed three-year contracts, traditional for the Steelers with draft picks after the second round. Each received annual minimum NFL salaries of $320,000, $405,000 and $490,000.
In addition players received the following signing bonuses:
Emmanuel Sanders $586,069, Thaddeus Gibson $366,015, Chris Scott $140,056, Crezdon Butler $119,170, Steven Sylvester $116,560, Jonathan Dwyer $77,840, Antonio Brown $73,075, and Doug Worthington $33,315.
First Published July 29, 2010 12:00 am