When linebacker Jason Worilds quickly signed the Pittsburgh Steelers' transition tag in early March, there was hope from both sides that a sensible long-term arrangement could be worked out.
Nearly three months later, the tea leaves suggest Worilds will play out the 2014 season without the security of a long-term contract.
There have been no productive talks between Worilds' camp and the Steelers, reports Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Rooney family has traditionally been reluctant to overpay for their own impending free agents. After getting a poor return on their long-term commitment to LaMarr Woodley, they may be extra-hesitant to do the same with another edge rusher ready to cash in.
Worilds had one of the great contract-year pushes of recent memory, terrorizing offensive linemen with seven sacks and 20 quarterback hits in the final eight games of 2013.
If he can stretch that level of play over 16 games this season, it will work out well for both player and team.
The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down the news and discusses players who could be summertime trade targets.