ESPN.com's James Walker reports that Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley will be present on Friday when training camp opens.â†µ
The Steelers recently decided they will not renegotiate Woodley's deal before the start of the 2010 season. After recording 25 sacks the past two seasons, Woodley will make $550,000 in the final year of his rookie contract.â†µ
Pittsburgh traditionally does not negotiate contracts during the season, which means talks are not expected to resume until 2011 when Woodley is due to become a free agent.â†µ
A week ago, Woodley expressed frustration with the Steelers' unwillingness to renegotiate.â†µ
"Sometimes," he said, "you’ve gotta be treated fair"...â†µ
"It’s kind of jacked up," Woodley said. "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."â†µ
Other teams have been creative in rewarding talented players who have outgrown their rookie contracts - the above link notes that Tennessee back Chris Johnson would have been paid around the $550,000 the Steelers will pay Woodley in 2010, but the Titans restructured his deal to include escalator clauses that could raise his salary to several times that. The Steelers won't do the same with Woodley, and it appears he'll have to wait until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been reached to get a new deal. At least he won't be holding out in the meantime.