Jason Worilds Retires, Shocking NFL & Sending Steelers Scrambling…

The NFL Free Agency signing period is less than 24 hours old, and already one major surprise has sent shockwaves through both the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers organization.

Steelers unrestricted free agent and starting outside linebacker Jason Worilds has retired.

The Steelers drafted Worilds in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft. While Worilds played well on special teams, he found himself behind James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, then the NFL’s two pair of outside rushers. Woirlds also had injury issues of his own, and did not claim a starting role of his own until mid-2013.

  • Once there, however, Worilds exploded, racking up 8 sacks in less than a full season as a starter.

Worilds looked to get a big payday in 2014, but the Steelers named Worilds as a their transition player, a designation which comes with an 8 figure guaranteed salary.

Jason Worilds — From Biggest Free Agent to Retired

Jason Worilds started all of 2014, and while he couldn’t reproduce his outstanding success from the second half of 2013, he played very well. In addition, part of the reason for his decline in sack numbers was the fact that Steelers coaches used him in coverage more often.

Jason Worilds was the Steelers biggest free agent and looked to be one of the NFL’s top pass rushers on the open market. His name was quickly connected with Philadelphia and Tennessee and most expected Worilds to get a top payday.

  • However, the free agent signing period began and Worilds was not one of the first player to ink a contract.

Now we know why.

Worilds, it seems, is hanging it up and he has plenty of company as the San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis and the Tennessee Titans Jake Locker both began free agency by announcing their retirements. Perhaps its fear of CTE and head trauma, perhaps it’s the big paydays they’ve already cashed in on (Worilds earned near 10 million dollars last season), perhaps they simply want to do something else.

  • Either way, the Steelers will be without Worilds services.

While this is not unexpected, it does mean the Steelers need to scramble to find an outside linebacker, whether that means resigning James Harrison or finding someone else. The Steelers resigned Arthur Moats two days ago, but he is not a full time starter. Jarvis Jones is the only “starting caliber” outside linebacker on the Steelers roster, and he remains unproven.

Thanks for visiting. Click here for more of our Steelers 2015 Free Agent Focus.

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