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Steelers Ramon Foster says Jason Worilds "is a guy who didn't care about the money"

Worilds' surprising decision to walk away from the game was for faith-based reasons, according to the Tribune Review.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Many were stunned when ex-Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds announced his retirement on the verge of a big pay day.

The decision itself may have caught those people by surprise, but the reasons for the decision itself weren't quite as a shock, at least to one Steelers player.

Steelers left guard Ramon Foster spoke with Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly, and he didn't see it as something totally unexpected.

"He was a guy you could tell he thought outside the box," Foster told Kaboly. "He was a guy who didn't care about the money, and it shows now."

Kaboly quoted a source close to Worilds who said his future wasn't going to be determined on money, but the money was there, if he wanted it.

"He is stepping away because he wanted to pursue other interests," the source told Kaboly. "The decision was faith-based as he wanted to pursue interests related to that. He still likes the game of football and certainly had lucrative options on the table but felt his time was best spent on those other interests."

San Francisco's Glen Coffee, a third-round pick out of Alabama in 2009, left after one season in the NFL, saying "I don't know what call God has for my life, but it wasn't football."

Many have suggested the reason Worilds walked away when he did - approximately eight hours after the start of free agency - was motivated by Worilds not landing the kind of money he thought he'd get. On the low end, Worilds could have expected around $10 million guaranteed on a deal that would have given him an average of $6 million a year in total value. The high end would have been around $15 million guaranteed on $8 million a year on average.

Those numbers don't seem far enough apart to justify leaving it all on the table.

For what it's worth, Coffee ended up joining the Army and as of 2013, was looking to join a Special Forces unit.

This isn't to say Worilds' path has to be one to the life of ministry, maybe, truly, money didn't matter as much to him as his own freedom from the game did.