Tag:Lamarr Woodley
Posted on: July 20, 2010 7:00 pm
 

Woodley is unhappy

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.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Posted on: July 13, 2010 5:37 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 8:48 pm
 

Could Steelers really lose LaMarr Woodley?

The uncapped season has hurt several young stars vying for new contracts. One of those stars who has managed to slip under the radar is Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley. According to ESPN, the Steelers have decided not to give Woodley a new contract before the 2010 season. He is slated to earn $550,000 in the final year of his rookie deal. L. Woodley (US Presswire)

As ESPN’s James Walker points out, the Steelers do not often negotiate contracts with players during the season, so Woodley will likely become a free agent in spring 2011. (The franchise tag could be an option, but there’s no telling if the new CBA will carry it.)

The Steelers have always been willing to let linebacker leave too soon rather than too late (see Kevin Greene, Levon Kirkland, Greg Lloyd), but Woodley is only 25. It would be beyond foolish to let him get away.

UPDATE: The Saginaw News and NFL Network's Jason La Canfora are disputing ESPN's report. Words is, the Steelers will sign Woodley to a long-term contract once a new CBA is in place. La Canfora vehemently declares that Woodley isn't going anywhere.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: July 2, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2010 12:53 pm
 

Positional rankings: 3-4 outside linebackers

Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, this time taking a look at the top five outside linebackers (who play in a 3-4 scheme) in the NFL.

Andy Benoit's top five

  J. Harrison (92) and L. Woodley (56) celebrate (Getty) 5. Elvis Dumervil, Broncos

4. LaMarr Woodley, Steelers

3. Terrell Suggs, Ravens

2. James Harrison, Steelers

1. DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys


Sacks have put a bright spotlight on the 3-4 outside linebacker position. Everyone on this list can rush the passer. What differentiates stars and superstars is versatility.

Dumervil, the NFL sack leader in ’09, is too small to be a force against the run, but his frenetic energy often makes up the difference. By the end of this season, Woodley might claim the No. 1 ranking. The fourth-year pro is beastly in traffic – he has some of the thickest thighs and biceps you’ll EVER see – and fluid enough to defend the flats in coverage.

Suggs is on the list not because he’s a handful as a pass-rusher, but because he’s the best playside run-defender in the NFL. James Harrison scares people – even those who are watching at home. He’s very smart, too. Ware had a somewhat quiet season in ’09, but that was due to a fluky slow start as much as anything. He’s still the best all-around 3-4 front seven playmaker in the game.

Josh Katzowitz's top five

5. Manny Lawson, 49ers

4. Elvis Dumervil, Broncos

3. DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys

2. LaMarr Woodley, Steelers

1. James Harrison, Steelers


  Oh, to be a quarterback facing the Steelers when James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley are healthy and gunning for your throat. Oh, to be a running back who must rush into the teeth of the Steelers defense. Oh, to have to fear for your career. Consider the two have combined 51 sacks during the past two seasons, and it’s easy to see why Pittsburgh was ranked No. 1 in the AFC vs. the run last year while finishing with an AFC-high 47 sacks. How do you rank them? I say Harrison is No. 1 because he’s been doing it longer, and because so much of an opponent’s attention is focused on stopping him, Woodley can get away with blitzing. But I agree – Woodley might eventually be the best of the entire bunch.

Ware had an amazing 2008, recording 20 sacks, 84 tackles and six forced fumbles. Fighting through an injury, he wasn’t nearly as good last season, but he rebounded a bit in the second half. Although he had a huge year last season, you wonder if Dumervil can replicate his success. Lawson doesn’t record many sacks, but he’s good in coverage and he tackles consistently.

The one issue I have with Andy’s list is Terrell Suggs. I wonder if he lives off his reputation more than anything else. He came into last season nearly 20 pounds overweight, and it blunted his explosiveness. He lost playing time, and he completed his worst season since his 2003 rookie season. Not good since he signed a contract before the beginning of the season that made him the highest-paid linebacker in history. Unfortunately for Baltimore, he didn’t play like it.

Andy’s Rebuttal

A lot of Suggs’ brilliance doesn’t show up in the stat book. I have some reservations about Dumervil, but not enough to overshadow all the memories I have of him attacking offensive tackles with perfect leverage last season.

But whatever, let’s get to the shocking part of your list: MANNY LAWSON?! If this were Bottom 5, maybe. Lawson is very fluid in coverage. I’ll give you that. But he’s not physical in traffic, and he’s a modest pass-rushing threat at best. If Ahmad Brooks had even a slightly-below-average football IQ, he’d be starting ahead of Lawson in San Francisco.

Josh’s final word

Ha, I thought you might like my addition of Lawson. But bottom five? Man, that’s harsh. That’s like me sarcastically writing about how Suggs is so brilliant. Oh wait, you were serious about that? Fact is, Lawson’s the best OLB at dropping into coverage of anybody on our list, he plays the run very well, and he does, in fact, get to the opposing quarterback. Even without great technique, he was credited with hitting the quarterback 11 times last year; he just doesn’t record many sacks. And considering last year was his first season in the 3-4, he’s only going to get better (it should be noted he had four sacks in the final seven games of the year). Yeah, Lawson isn’t the sexiest OLB out there, but he’s more than solid.

Andy, not knowing when to quit

Josh, Lawson is indeed fantastic at dropping into coverage. I’m surprised he didn’t make your top five cornerbacks list.

Josh’s final, final word

In lieu of making any more arguments about this position, let me point you in the direction of what a wise man said last March. "I wasn't happy about the way I played last season, it was a disappointing year. My focus in the offseason is to make sure that never happens again. … No one was more disappointed about my season than me.” Who said that? Oh right, those were the brilliant words of Suggs. In effect, Suggs thinks your list is pretty weak.

(Other positions: Safety | Cornerback )

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.





 
 
 
 
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