Big Lead Sports Bar


LaMarr Woodley's Treatment is "Jacked Up"

Contract issues among young stars in the NFL are all the rage these days, most prominently with the Titans' Chris Johnson and the Jets' Darrelle Revis.

You can now throw LaMarr Woodley's hat into that ring as a bit of frustration with his employer peeked out in an interview with Mike Silver of Yahoo!:

“It’s kind of jacked up,” Woodley said. “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.”

I understand Woodley's situation, I really do. The guy is one of the top 'backers in the game, he's pulling down peanuts for a salary in 2010 (relatively speaking, of course), and the Steelers have made no overtures towards a new deal because of the CBA. He looks around at players in similar situations and sees a raise for Kevin Kolb in Philadelphia and accelerated escalators for Tennessee's Johnson, and wonders where his payday is:

“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.”

Make no doubt about it, the Steelers have enough problems going into 2010 without having to worry about Woodley's state of mind. The easy response is to say, "A contract is a contract, so Woodley should shut his mouth and play," but in today's NFL, that really doesn't fly. Teams can cut players at any time. Contracts mean very little. The window for players to earn money is limited. None of this qualifies as breaking news.

But what does this mean long-term for Woodley? Well, with the CBA up in the air, there's no guarantee that the franchise tag option will exist in the future. There's no communication going on between Woodley and the team, and it sounds like that won't be changing anytime soon. By letting the season play out with no new deal in place, both sides are taking a calculated risk, and there's no absolute guarantee that the Super Bowl champion will be a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2011 or beyond. Surprisingly, that appears to be a risk the Steelers are willing to take. Like Woodley says, that is kind of jacked up.


Nate said...

They've got to get a deal done. The guy is an absolute beast and they've got no youth at linebacker. Not getting a deal with Woodley done could set the team back multiple seasons.

frank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
frank said...

the steelers should not resign this guy he sucks so he went 2 michigin they suck just look at there record with rich frod agianst penn state they r trash them and there fans r almost as gay as all the peeps who queer i mean cheer 4 pitt hahaha
WE ARE PENN STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chip said...

I read somewhere that there are special rules in effect for an uncapped year. You can't offer a contract to a player more than 30% higher than what they made in 2009.

Johnson and Revis can live with that because they're making 1st round money so a 30% increase would be substantial. I think Woodley's only making $900,000 a year. Which means the Stelers can only offer him $1.2 million/year. He's worth three times that.

I think I read this from Bouchette so you can double check. If true, either Woodley's agent hasn't informed him or he's an imbecile. Hopefully somebody educates him (I'd suggest flash cards) so he doesn't pout all season over something the Steelers have no control over.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

Yeah, i heard the 30% max raise thing too. But, why not give him at least that 30% raise for this season & load it with incentives ($500k/sack?).

I believe the 30% rule only applies to base salary. SF just reworked patrick willis' deal around these loopholes. Give him incentives & a huge signing bonus. It seems like (rumors) the signing bonus is the part holding the stillers from inking some deal.

Losing LB talent AND YOUTH is not an option for the stillers right now. I hope Timmons & Woodley are career steelers.

Nate said...

Agreed with the above. The 30% thing is true, but you can still offer bonuses and incentives. Money is money, I'm sure he'd take it.

Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...

Don't worry. If anyone in this situation has a clue how the CBA negotiations will shake out, it's the Steelers front office (not Woodley). Sure, it's a risk for them to not resign him now, but a calculated one.

Don't read into Woodley's comments too much -- I take them to say "I'm frustrated that I'm not able to get this taken care of today, but I understand the situation and it's not the team's fault."

He was fine with this last just seems like he's had friends, family, and players on other teams (David Harris) whispering in his ear recently.

I'm willing to bet the Steelers either sign him to a long term deal or put the franchise tag on him by March.

Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...

On the bright side, at least we don't have Santonio Holmes griping about his contract situation. The team would likely have had to make a choice between Woodley and Holmes next offseason, and I'd rather have Woodley. Plus, we got a 5th rounder for Santonio instead of just letting him walk for free in free agency.

david said...

big cuz played his heart out for the steelers for all the haters who name you heard the most when they won that championship he made sackes and stops that gave them those rings so who suck