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Old 02-20-2011, 07:52 AM   #1
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Default Bires: Woodley deserves the big bucks

Bires: Woodley deserves the big bucks
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/ar...7a4a78c22.html
Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 12:01 am

Bires: Woodley deserves the big bucks Mike Bires Timesonline.com | 0 comments

LaMarr Woodley is proof that there's value in keeping your yap shut and just doing the job you‘re paid to do.

Last summer at training camp, Woodley could have easily bickered about his contract. He was vastly underpaid in 2009 when he led the Steelers in sacks. He was going to be underpaid again in 2010. And the Steelers hadn't offered him an extension like they've done to so many of their stars in recent years.

But Woodley, the Steelers' left outside linebacker, never complained. He was the antithesis of Jeff Reed.

In fact, one particular day at camp last August, Reed and Woodley were cornered by the media and asked about their contractual status. Reed chose to whine about his situation. Woodley refused to utter a discouraging word.

Reed went on to kick his way out of town.

Woodley went on to have another strong season, and on Friday, he was justly rewarded for his productivity and his patience. When they Steelers put the franchise tag on him, Woodley was guaranteed to make $10.2 million in 2011 provided NFL owners and players eventually end their labor dispute and there is a 2011 season.

"Just got a well-deserved, $9.5 million raise," Woodley wrote on his Twitter account. "Here's to a long-term deal."

Woodley, the Steelers' second-round pick in the 2007 draft, will eventually get his long-term deal. The Steelers would be crazy not to lock this guy in for years to come.

Obviously, he's a terrific player.

In each of his three years as a starter, Woodley posted double-digit sack totals. He's one of only two players in team history to record at least 10 sacks in three straight seasons. The other is James Harrison.

Woodley's 39 sacks in his first four seasons are the most of any Steelers defender in the first four years of their careers. He is also the only player in NFL history to post at least one sack in six consecutive postseason games.

Beyond his playing ability, Woodley is also a good guy. He's a great locker room guy and he's active in community affairs. He's a model citizen.

One day during Super Bowl week in North Texas, I asked Woodley why he never threatened to hold out or complain about his contract.

"I didn't want to be a distraction," he said.

In a season in which the Steelers had plenty of distractions, Woodley just played and played well. He was second on the team with 10 sacks (Harrison had 10.5) and was paid just $550,000. That's close to $1 million less than the Steelers paid backup nose tackle Chris Hoke.

In ‘09 when Woodley led the team with 13.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl, he was paid $460,000. That was $160,000 less than the Steelers paid Andre Frazier, the man who backed up Woodley.

But now, that is history. Woodley is now a millionaire 10 times over.

Good for him. His patience has paid off. If anyone deserves such a raise, it's him.

Mike Bires can be reached at mbires@timesonline.com
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bires: Woodley deserves the big bucks

I think the Steelers were happy to give him the franchise money and will be happy to give him a long-term raise.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bires: Woodley deserves the big bucks

Steeler Rapid Reports
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/p...burgh-steelers

Feb. 18, 2011 5:10 p.m. - Franchised LB LaMarr Woodley responded on his Facebook to Friday’s news: “Thanks 4 all the congrats about the tag. Happy 2 be with the black and gold for another year ... and hopefully forever.” CB Ike Taylor tweeted: “Happy for him. He deserves it.” Steelers RapidReports
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