Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Run Down Of Steelers Transition Tag; Worilds Accepts Tag

Poor Jason La Canfora...

Jason Worilds has accepted the $9.754 million Transition Tag the Pittsburgh Steelers placed on him on Monday. It completely takes him off of the free agent market and the Steelers are now working on a longterm deal with him that would pare his Cap number down from the aforementioned amount.

If It Ain't Steel posted the article below that explained what this all meant for Worilds and for the Steelers. Then this came down the pike Tuesday morning from the same person who had not long before that stated that he'd be gone:

"@JasonLaCanfora; Jason Worilds has signed his transition tag w/PIT worth $9.75M. No offer sheets can come now."

Per Ed Bouchette from his Twitter (@EdBouchette), the Steelers are working on making it so that Worilds stays in the Steel City for years to come. As usual, they've taken care of home, of their own free agents, first.

Below is the article that covers all of the particulars surrounding the contract situation before Worilds' accepting (nothing was actually "signed") of the tag.


“@BobLabriola: The @Steelers designate OLB Jason Worilds a transition player. Tender is average of top 10 salaries; @steelers can match any offer”

That was the information that came down Monday morning from within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization shortly after it was announced that the Washington Redskins had put their Franchise Tag on outside linebacker Brian Orakpo.

Facts - The Transition Tag, as referenced by Steelers Digest's Bob Labriola in the above quote, costs the Steelers $9.754 million which puts them approximately $10 million over the NFL Salary Cap, per the Rule of 51, at the printing of this piece including the $1.35 million carry over from last season's Cap (and before adding dead money owed). - http://tinyurl.com/oegxr29

The Steelers announced the move less than an hour before the 4 p.m. EST NFL deadline to make the move. They now, as with every other team, must be under the Salary Cap by March 11th.

Possible Moves - Cutting Levi Brown will erase $6.25 million.

Restructuring contracts such as Antonio Brown and Lawrence Timmons would cut another approximate $7 million off of the books.

Troy Polamalu, who turns 33 years old in April, is likely to be asked to take a pay cut, as his 2014 Cap number is $10,887,500 million. But it could be done in such a way so as to work such a reduction into an extension that lowers his Cap number and still allow him to retire a Steeler.

Ike Taylor, 34 in May, will count $11,942,404 million against the Cap and has a non-guaranteed base salary of $7 million. He could be cut or asked to take a (significant) pay cut.

Moves - Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported early Monday morning that the Steelers are in negotiations with tight end Heath Miller to restructure his deal. Being that he is in the final year of said deal, it would have to actually be either an extension of his contract or a pay cut. I and all whom I trust believe that the Steelers will extend his contract and use a signing bonus to reduce his $9.5 million Cap number this year.

What It Means - The Transition Tag allows the Steelers some control as Worilds assuredly tests the market. The team, though, has right of first refusal and can match any deal he may get. It essentially forces Worilds' agent to go and find a deal.

A risk is taken nonetheless. Worilds has said that he wants to stay in Pittsburgh and simply asked, if they truly wanted him, that he be named the starter. One big way to do that is to pay starter money.

By putting the tag on him, the Steelers gave their answer in the affirmative.

The nearly $10 million Worilds would potentially be owed is a figure that would be paid out in 17 game checks. Both Worilds and the Steelers would prefer that number turned into a multi-year contract - it provides security for the player and then this year's number comes down to $5-$6 million which helps the team.

In other words, a potential good situation for the Steelers and for Worilds. He can still test the market and leverage his number up. He's guaranteed $10 million and, if the bottom falls out, can be a FA again next year.

The Steelers can match what he may look to accept as a longterm deal. If he stays, the Steelers have the makings of another set of OLBs set to wreak havoc if Jarvis Jones picks up where he left off in the final game of 2013.

Drawbacks - There is no compensation if they don’t match an offer Worilds accepts.

Nothing can be done with LaMarr Woodley until the situation with Worilds is finalized. If he is to be cut, it can't be done before June 1st.