Market shifting to $30+ million guaranteed for elite Outside Linebackers
The market has changed since the Pittsburgh Steelers gave James Harrison $20 million in guaranteed money in 2009 and sources say the Steelers believe they going to have to give LaMarr Woodley more money than they may like, to lock down a long-term deal in the coming days.
A strong mutual interest has emerged between the Steelers and Woodley but resigning Woodley figures to cost Pittsburgh the second largest contract in team history.
Numbers have been exchanged and agent Doug Hendrickson has been given more leverage in recent days as linebackers are cashing in.
The Oakland Raiders signed 27 year old OLB Kamerion Wimbley to a five-year, $48 million contract, that includes $29 million guaranteed over the life of the contract.
Like Woodley, Wimbley was the Raiders designated franchise players.
Wimbley, 27, had 58 tackles and 9 sacks in 2010. He has recorded double digits sacks just once in his career, collecting 11 sacks in 2006.
An even bigger deal was dished out Wednesday night by the Kansas City Chiefs, resigning star linebacker Tamba Hali who signed a 5 year – $60 million deal with $35 million in guarantees. The second largest deal for a linebacker in league history.
Hali, 27, had 14.5 sacks in 2010, along with 51 tackles. Hali’s career high in sacks prior to last season’s big year, was 8.5 sacks in 2009.
Woodley’s close friend David Harris received the largest “guaranteed” deal ever for an inside linebacker this week, signing a 4 year – $36 million deal that includes $29.5 million in guarantees.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus will surely be taking notice of this deal when talks begin with the Steelers about a new deal with Lawrence Timmons.
Timmons and Woodley could cost the Steelers up to $60 million in guaranteed money.
As for Woodley, the market has shifted for him to be in line for $30+ million in guarantees. He has posted 3 straight 10-plus sack seasons and is just 26 years old.