Being Kevin Colbert Part III: What to do with Jason Worilds

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Boiling down a cap number after setting money aside for the rookie pool gets us to a point where we can enter in negotiations with key Steelers free agent Jason Worilds.

Let's put our Kevin Colbert hats on. If we were waiting to take action until the league officially announced that magical salary cap number - $133 million on the dot - and we finally got it Friday, what are the first few moves? Read Part I here and Part II here

Cut: Levi Brown, Ike Taylor

Extended: Troy Polamalu

Re-signed: Al Woods

Steelers Roster Salary: $124,297,182

Salary Cap: $10,055,268 under

Part II ended with us deciding to part ways with cornerback Ike Taylor, giving us approximately $10 million in cap space.

Not every move made has to be done for the sake of the salary cap. While there are still some moves out there to help with any cap space that's needed, the goal here is to field as competitive a roster as possible.

Jason at Over The Cap estimates the six picks the Steelers currently have in the 2014 NFL Draft will count $4,445,044 against the cap. This estimate does not include pending compensatory picks, but based on Craig Turner's estimates, the Steelers will gain three more picks, one third round pick (Mike Wallace), one fifth round pick (Keenan Lewis) and one seventh round pick (Ryan Mundy).

For lack of tangible evidence as to the validity of these estimates, we're going to assume this is what they will have.

We'll use Jason's estimates for what would be the first compensatory pick awarded on the back end of each round to add in those values...which is...carry the four...call it very liberally estimated at another $1.2 million. Our estimate, then, is $5.845 million for the rookie class.

That means the Steelers, in our scenario, have $4,410,268 in cap space.

Let's give Mr. Jason Worilds a call, and see where he is.

Call it a hunch, but we think Worilds will want to start his negotiation based on the contract Paul Kruger signed with the Browns last season. He got a 5-year, $40.5 million deal with $20 million in guarantees - a $6 million signing bonus, $6.285 million first-year roster bonus, and his first two base salaries.

His first year cap number was $8.2 million, meaning, the Steelers couldn't afford it in our scenario. Being that Worilds has played for a second-round contract for the last four years, he's likely to want a big payday up front - i.e. a large signing bonus. Kruger's deal gave him a low salary in 2013 but with a large roster bonus, all with the prorated piece of his signing bonus, so his cap number stays at $8.2 million over the first three years of his deal, but his dead money charge drops to $3.6 million in 2015.

The Steelers don't have the boatload of cap space the Browns do, so paying that huge roster bonus in Year 1 of a deal wouldn't work. But the Steelers could give a large signing bonus up front with a low salary in 2014, an increase in salary in 2015, when the cap is expected to rise again, along with a much higher salary in 2016 when the cap is expected to top $150 million.

It also shows Worilds if they aren't committed to him starting in 2014, he's clearly a guy who's a part of their future. In other words, they really can't get past LaMarr Woodley right now, but it's a decision they can make with far less penalty in 2015.

So we're offering Worilds a 4-year, $30 million deal with $18 guaranteed - $14.5 million signing bonus, salaries in his first two years guaranteed. That gives him a cap number of $4,325,000.

The main question here is whether he'll take that deal. It's pretty much a guarantee he'll get a larger offer than that in free agency. His numbers through four seasons weren't all that dissimilar from Kruger's, but Kruger can use an outstanding postseason run as leverage, whereas Worilds cannot. Whether a hometown discount is an actual thing, players often sign for less than market value with their current teams. The deal we're offering Worilds may even be considered on the high side.

We're not confident he would take it, especially considering Woodley is still on the team. That means Worilds will have to either play over the guy they're paying more in salary in 2014, or play over the 2013 first round pick who started over him for a portion of last season.

He can't really like his chances with that, especially considering he'll very likely get a higher guaranteed amount somewhere else who will give him a starting position.

Worilds will weigh our offer but he's going to test free agency.

Cut: Levi Brown, Ike Taylor

Extended: Troy Polamalu

Re-signed: Al Woods

Steelers Roster Salary: $124,297,182

Salary Cap: $10,055,268 under

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker