If Pittsburgh LB LaMarr Woodley sounds disappointed that the Steelers chose not to adjust his contract, meaning he’ll make $550,000 in the final year of his original four-year deal – $90,000 more than he made last season – it’s because he is disappointed. Or pissed. Whichever you prefer.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silve r, Woodley said he found it strange that, despite recording 29 sacks in the first three years of his career, the Steelers didn’t off him a raise.
“It’s kind of jacked up,” Woodley told Silver. “Everything I’ve ever done for the Steelers, on and off the field, has been positive. Sometimes you don’t get the same thing back in return.”
Woodley could be one of a handful of players who really get screwed by the potential of next year’s lockout. Here’s hoping he’s been saving his money.
With the uncertainty of next year’s season and with what the next Collective Bargaining Agreement will contain, Woodley might be missing a chance to cash in before the NFL journeys into next year’s unknown.
Tennessee gave RB Chris Johnson more money Monday, though he still had three years left on his original deal. Other teams have performed similar services for their players. Don’t think Woodley hasn’t noticed.
“I’m not going to lie – I was a little disappointed that they didn’t offer anything at all,” Woodley said. “I felt that was a little weird. I guess they decided they’re going to sit back and wait for the CBA and all that to play out.
“You look around the league and you see different teams getting stuff done with their players in similar situations, and you think, ‘What, the Steelers don’t care about me?’ Stuff like that goes through your mind.”
More from Silver’s story:
As for what happens after 2010, Woodley doesn’t sound especially committed to Pittsburgh, which may be a moot point. In theory, the Steelers can apply the franchise tag to keep Woodley from becoming an unrestricted free agent. As a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end, Woodley likely would command a one-year salary in the $12 million range under the current system.
Then again, with the CBA set to expire next March, there’s no guarantee that the device still will exist once a new deal is negotiated.
“They’re kind of looking at a franchise tag, but it’s a pretty risky gamble,” Woodley said. “If there is no franchise tag … I guess I can play for 31 [other] teams now. That’s what it boils down to. If they’d wanted to keep other teams from getting a crack, they could’ve tried to do so.”
Sounds like a divorce, at some point, is forthcoming.
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