Mike Tomlin's comments about LaMarr Woodley's play this season were telling about the outside linebacker's future with the Steelers beyond the final two games of 2013.

Tomlin said Woodley has been “solid” not only this season but throughout his career and that characterization had to raise some eyebrows.

Surely the Steelers expected to get more than just solid play from Woodley when they signed the seventh-year veteran to a six-year, $61.5 million contract in 2011 and made him the highest-paid defensive player in franchise history.

The soft-tissue injuries that have plagued Woodley – and questions they have raised about his weight and conditioning -- and the reality that he is not a No. 1 pass-rusher means something has to give in the offseason. Woodley is going to have to take a significant pay cut or the Steelers will have to seriously consider releasing him.

They already have his replacement on the roster in Jason Worilds.