The Steelers may have to pay a king's ransom to keep Jason Worilds.
The fifth-year linebacker, still just 25-years-old, has been reported to be in high demand among NFL teams according to ESPN's Adam Caplan on NFL Insiders.
Caplan went on to say that as many as "6-8 teams" are currently interested in Worilds, who could command "around $6-7 million a year."
Where does this leave the Steelers?
SI.com's Josh Sanchez stated that the Steelers "would likely prefer if he returned to the team but it is unlikely that they will be able to afford him with the amount of money that he is going to command. Expect Worilds to be playing with a new team in 2014."
Rotoworld.com's Evan Silva has Worilds ranked as the second best free agent on the market behind fellow outside linebacker Brian Orakpo.
Worilds' sack numbers have risen in each of his four seasons in the NFL. He was one of the team's main cogs during the Steelers' second half emergence last year. He had six of his eight sacks in the final eight games of the season as Pittsburgh went 6-2 during that span. One of his best games last season came in a 10 tackle, two-sack effort against the Ravens in Week 13.
The 6'2, 262-pound Worlids has 18 career sacks after being drafted in the second round out of Virginia Tech in 2010. He recorded his first NFL sack in Week Two of his rookie season in the team's 38-13 win at Tampa Bay. He recorded his first two-sack game in Week 14 of the 2011 season against Cleveland. His next multi-sack effort came in week 12 of the 2012 season at Cleveland.
What transpires with Worilds will most likely have an impact on how the Steelers handle the LaMarr Woodley situation. After tallying 44 sacks from 2008-11, Woodley recorded five sacks in 2012 and four in 13 games last season while battling injuries. The 29-year-old Woodley forced a fumble on the Cardinals final play of Super Bowl XLIII.