LaMarr Woodley is not happy. He’s set to make $550,000 in 2010 which is great if he were, say, selling carpet, but less so given that he’s one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
Compounding his predicament: the looming threat of a work stoppage, exacerbated by the “30 percent rule” which, as Yahoo’s Michael Silver explains, “states that renegotiations and extensions may not increase a player’s compensation (which includes base salary, likely to be earned incentives and pro-rated roster and option bonuses, but not signing bonuses) more than 30 percent annually, beginning with the season preceding the reworked deal.”
So Woodley’s left to live on a little more than half a million and we’re left listening to him bemoan his fate. From Silver’s latest column:
“It’s kind of jacked up,” Woodley said (of his current situation). “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.” …
“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.”
I don’t think anybody disagrees with the notion that Woodley deserves a raise but, frankly, he’s a victim of horrible timing. If this had been any other year, he might already have a new deal.
But it’s not. And he doesn’t.
Player’s publicly voicing their frustrations haven’t affected the Steelers’ negotiating strategies in the past and I’m guessing that won’t change. So he’ll have to wait. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first: working out the CBA. In the meantime, there’s this:
Noting that the Steelers recently signed fourth-year coach Mike Tomlin to a contract extension, Woodley said, “On Twitter somebody wrote, ‘Are you serious? Who’s more important, LaMarr Woodley or a coach?’ I didn’t say that. But I thought it was funny.”