Chris Wormley grew up as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
So when the Baltimore Ravens decided to trade the defensive lineman to their AFC North rival, the chance to play for the black and gold was like a dream come true.
"I think towards the last two years of my college career, when I had a chance of playing in the NFL, I had to put the fandom aside," Wormley told the interview with AllSteelers' Around The 412 podcast. "The Ravens were paying my checks and writing the checks so that kind of went away. But when I got traded back to the Steelers, I was like, 'this is kind of like a dream come true, a childhood dream.' But yeah, once I got drafted by the Ravens, I was all into Baltimore and what that city had to offer."
Wormley, who was selected by Baltimore in the third round (74th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft, was in the final year of his contract. He had one of his best seasons in 2019, finishing with 33 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two passes defended. He played a key role in helping Baltimore’s defense rank No. 3 in points (17.6) and No. 4 in yards (300.6) allowed per game.
Still, Baltimore spent the early part of free-agency reshaping its entire defensive line.
First, the Ravens acquired Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell from Jacksonville for a 2020 fifth-round pick. General manager Eric DeCosta then signed Derek Wolfe as a free agent from the Denver Broncos.
Baltimore signed free-agent defensive linemen Justin Ellis and Jihad Ward to a pair of one-year deals. The Ravens also selected two defensive linemen in this year's draft — Justin Madubuike from Texas A&M in the third round and Broderick Washington from Texas Tech in the fifth round.
As a result, Wormley became expendable in Baltimore, which made a rare trade within their division, sending him and a seventh-round pick in 2021 to Pittsburgh in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2021. There has been only one other trade between the teams. In 1997, Baltimore traded a seventh-round draft pick in 1998 to Pittsburgh for offensive lineman Bernard Dafney, who appeared in just one game for the Ravens.
The Wormley trade was the only one of the offseason where a player was moved within his division (from a total of 23 players involved in trades).
Wormley is just fine with his new surroundings.
"Obviously now all my family members are going to be Steelers fan again," he said.