Pittsburgh has locked down Jason Worilds for at least one more season.
Signing the tender means opposing teams are stopped from submitting offer sheets to the outside linebacker on the heels of his breakout, eight-sack campaign.
It's curious to see Worilds close the door on potential suitors, but his nearly $10 million payday is a sizeable increase over the $7 million Paul Kruger -- last offseason's prized pass rusher -- will earn in 2014. For Pittsburgh's decision-makers, hope remains that a more affordable long-term deal will be reached.
That would make sense for the backed-into-a-corner Steelers, who sit roughly $15 million over the salary cap with a rash of tough decisions to make.
Cutting Ike Taylor would save the team a cool $7 million, a move we support after the cornerback spent much of last season being fried by opposing receivers. Many have speculated that fellow pass rusher LaMarr Woodley looms as a potential post-June 1 release, but cutting him today would shave just $580,000 off the books and saddle the team with $14.2 million in dead money.
If the Steelers plan to keep both Worilds and Woodley, Pittsburgh's bloodletting might still affect a handful of household names. After tight end Heath Miller offered to restructure his contract, safety Troy Polamalu looms as another logical target to redo his deal.