Scott Brown of ESPN.com believes the Pittsburgh Steelers will sign center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker Jason Worilds to contract extensions prior to the start of the 2014 season.
I think the Steelers will get long-term deals done with Maurkice Pouncey and Jason Worilds before the start of the 2014 season but I think they will wait on Cameron Heyward. They have the option of picking up the fifth year on Heyward’s deal after this season, and I think they will do that and then sign the defensive end to a long-term contract prior to the 2015 season. Worilds is a strong candidate for the Steelers to sign to a long-term contract if the sides can find common ground. They could lower Worilds’ cap hit ($9.754 million) this year and also lock up a player where they aren’t exactly deep with a multi-year contract. Pouncey, meanwhile, is a no-brainer to sign to a long-term contract. He is one of the top centers in the NFL and the linchpin of the Steelers’ offensive line. I know questions have been raised about his durability but I am giving him a pass for the torn ACL that cost him all but eight snaps of the 2013 season. A teammate crashing into his knee after missing a cut block isn’t a reflection on Pouncey and whether he is injury prone. It is simply bad luck.
The Steelers don’t really have a choice but to pay Worilds now that LaMaarr Woodley is gone and there’s no way they could afford to let Pouncey walk in free agency.