At long last, the Steelers have signed outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a long-term deal. It’s for six years and $61.5 million and includes an enormous $22.5 million signing bonus.
Woodley’s contract is the second-highest in franchise history, next to only the eight-year, $102 million deal that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger signed in 2008.
Woodley had the Steelers’ franchise tag, meaning all of his $10 million 2011 deal would have counted against the salary cap. Adam Schefter tweets that, despite Woodley getting a major payday, his contract will now only count $6.5 million against the cap in 2011, so the Steelers will have a much easier time getting under the cap of roughly $123 million as a result of this deal. Also, they’re obviously keeping Woodley, which is great news.
Woodley is getting a ton of money, but the market was set in part by the five-year, $60 million deal the Kansas City Chiefs gave star pass-rusher Tamba Hali earlier in the week.
Earlier this week, this website published a news update about the possibility of Woodley signing a long-term deal, and Woodley linked to the item on his Facebook page, adding, “Would yall like this?? lol.” It therefore seemed like he and the Steelers were pretty close on the deal. He wrote another update on Friday with a picture of him signing the contract, saying he “will retire here” and calling himself a “STEELER 4 LIFE.”
For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.