Do you rember that line from the Matrix as Neo is choked in the subway tunel – “You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability… Goodbye, Mr. Anderson…” Well, just exchange Mr. Anderson with Steelers linebacker LaMarr Wodley and it will become just that.
Several sources, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, are beginning to report that the Steelers will release Woodley today as a post June 1st casualty. This move will release $8 million from the cap, spread out over several years.
With Pittsburgh placing the transition tag on free agent linebacker Jason Worlids about a week ago, signing a $9.754 tender and 2013 first round selection Jarvis Jones already on the roster little room was left for outside linebacker Woodley. At 29, he battled injury issues since he first suffered a hamstring injury in a week 8 victory over the Patriots at Heinz Field.
Woodley was a second round selection out of Michigan in 2007 and part of Mike Tomlin’s first draft class. After recording four sacks in his rookie season, he emerged as a sack master opposite of james Harrison at left outside linebacker.
Since his start in 2008 and into that ill fated injury in week 8 of 2011, Woodley racked up 44 sacks and 48 total for his career. Unfortunately, after the injury against New England, health problems became to take a hold of Woodley and he only managed nine sacks over the next two and half years (57 total over 7 seasons).
Woodley will be free to sign with anyone once he is officially released and no matter where he winds up, his contributions to theSteel Curtain should not be forgotten. In his first seven playoff appearances, Woodley recorded 11 sacks leading the Steelers to two Super Bowl appearances and a championship. In Super Bowl XLIII, it was Woodley who stripped Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals int he waning seconds securing a victory and recording a sixth Lombardy Trophy for the Steelers.
Last week, Pittsburgh also released veteran linebacker larry Foote, third year DB Curtis Brown, and veteran OT Levi Brown. In addition to those moves, Pittsburgh also restructured the contracts of key players in Troy Polamalu, TE Heath Miller and WR Antonio Brown.