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Russell Wilson to Sign with Pittsburgh Steelers

Russell Wilson to Sign with Pittsburgh Steelers

RUSSELL WILSON TO SIGN WITH PITTSBURGH STEELERS – The Pittsburgh Steelers’ free agency got off to an early start with the signing of free-agent quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wilson is only two years removed from signing a massive $245 million contract with the Denver Broncos. His unceremonious departure comes after not living up to the hype from this contract. He was dreadful in 2022 throwing 16 TDs with 11 interceptions and looked like a shell of his former self.

This led to the Broncos firing Nathaniel Hackett and hiring Sean Payton as head coach. Despite playing well, 26 TDs/8 INTs, Wilson and Payton never saw eye-to-eye with rumors swirling about limiting his playing time to avoid contract incentives.

The Broncos literally are paying Wilson 39 million dollars to go away which the Steelers took full advantage of paying him the league minimum at 1.21 million for one year. 

Can Russ Still Cook?

On the surface this looks like a no-brainer decision for a team that made the playoffs despite their quarterbacks only throwing 13 TDs and 9 INTs last season.

It’s not every day a former Super Bowl champion and nine-time pro-bowler becomes available to your team. There is no doubt Wilson has something to prove and has been humbled. It’s ironic that he left the Seattle Seahawks due to their defensive minded philosophy, only to sign with a Steelers team that has the most expensive defense in the NFL.

Expect Wilson, under offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, to return to his old style of play featuring a run-first offense with play-action passing. At 35 years old Wilson tends to rely on his arm more these days but does have the ability to scramble and move the pocket. 

What about Kenny?

The person most impacted by this decision is former 1st round pick Kenny Pickett. After losing his starting job to Mason Rudolph while he was injured last season, Pickett hoped to enter training camp as the starter with much to prove.

Now he hopes to have an opportunity to compete for the starting job against a quarterback of Wilson’s pedigree. To be fair, the Steelers screwed up keeping Matt Canada as offensive coordinator to enter the 2023 season as this led to a stunt in Kenny’s development. Pickett must look at this as an opportunity and use his time with Wilson to learn and compete.

The Steelers brass and general managers around the league will be watching keenly to see how he reacts to this situation. 

Is it the Right Move?

Kyle Brandt from the NFL Network summed up the Wilson signing best by saying, “I feel like the Steelers have a gift card in the NFL and they’re gonna swipe it for Russell Wilson because why not?? Some else is paying for it”   

While quoting another journalist while writing my own journalism may not be the best practice, this perfectly states the situation for the Steelers. They are paying under 4 million dollars combined for Pickett and Wilson next season. This allows them to be aggressive in free-agency and stack their roster. 

The Steelers upgraded their quarterback room on the cheap. If Wilson can stay humbled and work within Smith’s offensive system this could be a dangerous team.  If he isn’t, or shows any signs of “cringy” Russ, you send him packing. 

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