The speculation world turns some more, this time, highlighting the back-and-forth going on between (allegedly) the Steelers and transition-tagged outside linebacker Jason Worilds.
Post Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette reported last week Worilds turned down a contract offer of an unspecified dollar amount from the team. Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly wrote Wednesday Worilds never had such an offer.
I was told that Worilds was not offered a contract by the Steelers and that there have been no talks between the two sides since Worilds agreed to the transition tag three months ago. It was recently reported that Worilds rejected a contract offer by the Steelers, which remains on the table.
"An absolute lie," the person said.
BTSC wrote an analysis piece on the situation based off Bouchette's news Sunday. Worilds had subtweeted a comment that was erased not long after it appeared, "all a person needs to do is add 'from a team source,'" suggesting on his own the contract offer was never made.
It would seem strange one side remembers a contract not only being offered, but being rejected, while another side doesn't recall anything ever being offered. Someone's recollection of the chain of events seems a bit off, to put it mildly.
The motivation is there for the Steelers to offer Worilds a long-term deal. The transition tag he signed in March guarantees him $9.75 million, all of which hits this year's salary cap. A long-term deal could pay him at least that much up front, but allow the signing bonus to be spread over multiple years of the deal.
As Kaboly points out, though, the team's decision to release LaMarr Woodley freed up $8 million after June 1, and the cap increased to $133 million, a figure higher than it appeared was expected.
Perhaps that extra room changed the Steelers' minds on the level of priority given to Worilds extension for the sake of creating more cap space. The team's last draft pick to sign a contract, Stephon Tuitt, inked his deal Wednesday, leaving the team with around $6 million in space.