The Pittsburgh Steelers want Jason Worilds back but not at the $8-$9 million per season Worilds believes he’s worth on a 5-6 year deal.
Based on preliminary talks in the past couple days between the Steelers and Worilds representative Scott Smith, it remains clear that neither side see’s eye to eye on what Worilds value is on a long-term contract.
The Steelers have informed the Worilds camp they will not make an offer to Worilds before free agency. With the team unlikely to tag Worilds, that has the Steelers planning to let Worilds hit the open market and establish his worth.
If the Steelers didn’t tag Worilds last off-season, the Philadelphia Eagles were prepared to sign Worilds and meet his demands of a 5 year contract worth over $40 million. They remain a potential top landing spot for Worilds.
“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,” GM Kevin Colbert said Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, via Scott Brown of ESPN. “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.”
Worilds last season played on the transition tag, making $9.754 million. To tag Worilds again would cost the Steelers $11.7 million and over $13 million with the franchise tag.
After tagging Worilds last season, the Steelers struggled to find common ground on talks for a long-term deal. That remains the case again this off-season.
By letting Worilds hit the open market and see what he’s worth, the Steelers took a similar route with Ryan Clark in March 2010. Clark’s value ended up not being as high as he anticipated and eventually resigned for the Steelers on a four year deal.