The Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp in 10 days and have signed eight of their ten draft picks.
The two prominent players who remain unsigned is 1st round pick Maurkice Pouncey and 2nd round pick Jason Worilds.
There is nothing imminent on the contract for Worilds as contract talks won’t begin until next week.
However, there appears to be little doubt that Worilds won’t be signed before camp opens on Friday, July 31.
The uncertainty surrounding the CBA is believed to be a playing a part in a slow movement of signings among 1st and 2nd rounders thus far.
“It’s probably a factor, ” one NFL agent told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com.
The 6-foot-2, 262-pound Worilds was a two-time All-ACC selection with the Hokies. He had 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last season.
The Steelers selected Worilds with the 52nd overall selection. The young linebacker projects to make an impact on special teams this year but likely won’t make much of an impact on defense.
“We’ve got two pretty good outside linebackers as our starters right now, but we think this kid can come in and help us in terms of depth and on special teams as he learns the defense,” Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said. “As you know, ever since I’ve been here, we’ve never had a rookie linebacker start in this system. We like to groom them for a couple years.
“And we let them get their feet underneath them. The guys who have been successful here have always been good special teams players first, and we think this guy will be in that mold. The initial draw to him was what we saw on film. He probably wasn’t as productive his senior year, as he was his junior year, but he got more attention and was double-teamed a lot as a senior.”
Meanwhile, contract talks between Joel Segal, the agent for Maurkice Pouncey and Omar Khan the Steelers chief negotiator, are not expected to heat up until the end of the week at the earliest.
Pouncey, 20, is currently in the middle of some controversy. ESPN.com reported on Monday that Pouncey is being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly receiving $100,000 dollars from a sports agents representative last December.
After declaring for the draft, Pouncey later signed with high powered agent Joel Segal.
Reportedly, the Pouncey’s will deny any wrong doing today.
Pouncey projects to win the Steelers starting right guard job out of training camp.