Steelers notebook: Worilds biding time for long-term contact
Even though there is no long-term deal imminent, Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds is hoping that will change before the start of the season.
“I hope so, but it is one day at a time,” said Worilds following the Steelers organized team activities at Heinz Field on Tuesday. “If I continue with that approach, everything will fall in line.”
The Steelers placed the rarely used transition tag on Worilds in March that guaranteed they would have the final say whether the unrestricted free agent would return.
When Worilds agreed to the transition tag a day later, that assured him a guaranteed $9.745 million deal for 2014, and it was assumed the Steelers would be motivated to sign Worilds to a long-term deal to ease his salary cap number.
With two months left until the Steelers’ self-imposed deadline to negotiate contracts, the two sides have yet to come to terms.
Worilds said he hopes a deal can be done.
“Absolutely, as far as long term,” Worilds said. “You put so much time and effort in with these guys, so you want to be here for the duration of your career.”
Worilds was drafted out of Virginia Tech by the Steelers in the second round of the 2010. In his career, Worilds has started 21 regular-season games and registered 18 sacks and three forced fumbles. Last season, he set career highs in starts (11), tackles (54), sacks (eight) and forced fumbles (two).
Home sweet home
The Steelers held their practice session at Heinz Field where 19 rookies set foot on the home surface for the first time.
“It’s great to be out here and see what the stadium looks like from the inside-out instead of from the outside-in,” first-round pick Ryan Shazier said. “I’m just ready to get everything started.”
More from Moore
Free agent wide receiver Lance Moore has continued to impress heading into the third and final week of organized practices.
Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who roomed with Moore at Toledo, said to expect much more out of the diminutive receiver once he gets used to the system.
“I don’t think we even saw what he can really do yet,” Gradkowski said. “It is still early on, and Lance still has a lot more in him. The guy is a competitor. He is a professional, and he takes care of his business.”
Rookie third-round pick Dri Archer continues to practice returning punts despite not doing it in his final year at Kent State.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Archer said. “It’s something I’ve been doing every day since I’ve been here, so I feel very comfortable with it.”
Time almost up
Rookie linebacker Jordan Zumwalt hasn’t been permitted to take part in OTAs because his school, UCLA, had yet to graduate. UCLA is on a quarters system, and its final day of classes is Friday.
Zumwalt, however, is permitted to take part in the Steelers’ minicamp from June 17-19.