Worilds' position keeps getting better

March, 3, 2014
Mar 3
1:30
PM ET
Jason Worilds is celebrating his 26th birthday Monday and getting no shortage of love -- or pleas to stay in Pittsburgh -- from Steelers fans via Twitter.

Worilds
Worilds' gift may be a little belated but the outside linebacker will receive one in the form of a big pay day.

Worilds is one of the top pass rushers eligible for free agency March 11, and his position could improve markedly by later this afternoon.

The Redskins will use the franchise tag on Brian Orakpo if they are unable to sign the outside linebacker to a long-team deal before 4 p.m., according to ESPN's Ed Werder.

However the Redskins prevent Orakpo from hitting the open market next week as an unrestricted free agent, his status will enhance Worilds' value because of simple supply and demand.

The Steelers should have more sense of urgency on that front because if they don't re-sign Worilds before March 11 it's hard to imagine the fourth-year veteran returning to Pittsburgh.

Remember, all it takes is one team to overpay in free agency, as the Browns did last year when they signed outside linebacker Paul Kruger to a five-year, $40 million contract.

Considering the dearth of pass rushers who are poised to hit the open market -- the Panthers signed Greg Hardy to a long-term deal last week and Orakpo looks like he will stay with the Redskins -- Worilds has positioned himself for a big contract.

Whether it comes from the Steelers or another team remains to be seen.

The Steelers are in the process of getting in compliance with the salary cap as well as clearing enough room under it to sign priority free agents such as Worilds.

According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Steelers and tight end Heath Miller have agreed to a new deal that would lower Miller's cap hit of $9.47 million in 2014.

Since nine-year veteran Miller is going into the final year of his contact, he and the Steelers have presumably agreed to a contract extension.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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