Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who the Pittsburgh Steelers placed on injured reserve earlier this week, may have played his last snap in Pittsburgh. His play didn't match up with his exorbitant contract in 2013, which means he could find himself on the Steelers' chopping block after the season, according to a report by ESPN.com's Scott Brown.
Woodley is second on the team with five sacks and played "solid," in the words of Mike Tomlin, but the Steelers surely expected more production when they made the vet the highest-paid defender in franchise history with a six-year, $61.5 million contract in 2011.
Unless he takes a major pay cut this offseason, the Steelers will take a serious look at releasing him. Injuries will have cost him eleven games over the last three seasons and it's become increasingly clear that he is not the top-tier pass rusher the organization expected him to be.
In fact, he's not even the best pass-rusher on the team. Fourth-year man Jason Worilds leads the team with seven sacks, three of which have come in the last three weeks. Worilds took over at left outside linebacker when Woodley was sidelined with a calf strain earlier this season and held onto the spot even after Woodley's return. What's more, he's four years younger and has a significantly lower salary.
Worilds's age, price and production are making Woodley increasingly expendable.