The frustration and disappointment surrounding a new contract has been on-going for Pittsburgh Steelers star linebacker LaMarr Woodley. In May, sources told Inside Pittsburgh Sports that Woodley was frustrated with the Steelers lack of creativity in trying to negotiate a new deal around the 30 percent rule.
Two months later and the frustrations appear to be growing to a new high.
In the past couple weeks, Woodley’s agent Drew Rosenhaus approached the Steelers about working out a new deal, only to be told the Steelers have no interest in negotiating a new deal before this season.
According to Woodley, the message is loud and clear.
Speaking to a youth football team in Chicago, Woodley later sat down with Yahoo’s Michael Silver and sounded off on his contract status.
– “Sometimes, you’ve gotta be treated fair, ” Woodley said.
– It’s kind of jacked up,” Woodley said. “Everything I’ve ever done for the Steelers, on and off the field, has been positive. Sometimes you don’t get the same thing back in return.”
-I’m not going to lie – I was a little disappointed that they didn’t offer anything at all,” Woodley said. “I felt that was a little weird. I guess they decided they’re going to sit back and wait for the CBA and all that to play out.
– “You look around the league and you see different teams getting stuff done with their players in similar situations, and you think, ‘What, the Steelers don’t care about me?’ Stuff like that goes through your mind.”
– “They’re kind of looking at a franchise tag, but it’s a pretty risky gamble,” Woodley said. “If there is no franchise tag … I guess I can play for 31 [other] teams now. That’s what it boils down to. If they’d wanted to keep other teams from getting a crack, they could’ve tried to do so.”
– Silver writes, Woodley said he has heard from several players on opposing teams “who say I deserve [a new deal]. They say, ‘How come they didn’t pay you? You know what? Some other team will pay you. We could use an outside linebacker.’ ”
– “You hear a lot of people saying, ‘Woodley’s asking for too much,’ ” he said. “You can compare my numbers to outside linebackers around the league, and I think mine stack up with anyone’s.
– “I wouldn’t be making this argument if I didn’t produce on the field. But what I do is no joke. I get better every year. I’m not trying to say one man makes a team. But ever since I’ve been in that [starting role], our defensive stats have improved.”
– “Kolb’s a second-round pick, so that’s the best comparison to me,” Woodley said. “When you see guys like that get taken care of, it makes you wonder. This guy has barely started a game in the NFL, and he becomes the starting quarterback of the Eagles, and they take care of their guy.
– “With me, no conversations even happened. That’s the crazy thing – we don’t have any communication going on.”