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PFF Tabs Russell Wilson as Steelers Best Offseason Decision

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Pittsburgh Steeles QB Russell Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan completely revamped the quarterback room this offseason with acquiring Russell Wilson, Justin Fields and Kyle Allen. Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph are all in other NFL cities now. The trio combined for 13 touchdown passes last season, so major upgrades were needed.

Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus thinks the signing of Russell Wilson was the Steelers best offseason decision.

“The Steelers getting a former All-Pro and Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Wilson for $1.2 million in 2024 after the Broncos took on a dead cap hit of $85 million to have him not play is just good business by Pittsburgh,” Sikkema wrote. “Wilson might not be what he once was, but he should still give Pittsburgh a decent ceiling at the position.”

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Russell Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson at the team’s mandatory minicamp, June 11, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

NFL Network lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said the Steelers coaches have been thrilled with what they’ve seen from Wilson thus far.

“I’m really pleased with what I heard coming (out) of there with Russ,” Jeremiah said on the Rich Eisen Show in June. “I know there’s been a lot of talk with him and [Justin] Fields. It’s Russell Wilson’s gig. Everything I’ve been told, they’ve been impressed with how he’s thrown. Throwing with anticipation.”

Jeremiah also heard that Wilson has been an outstanding teammate, which isn’t surprising. Wilson disclosed at OTAs that he and Justin Fields took the offensive linemen out to dinner at the Capital Grille in downtown Pittsburgh to build camaraderie. It’s one of many examples this offseason that Wilson has stepped up as a leader.

Wilson has embraced the city of Pittsburgh. At pretty much every big event in the city this offseason, Wilson was there.

“The dedication and work ethic has been described to me as off the charts. He’s there all the time,” Jeremiah said. “He’s really worked to get to know his teammates and develop those relationships. They’re really bullish on him.”

Wilson had a 26-8 touchdown-interception ratio and a 98.0 quarterback rating last season in Denver. He also was very accurate. According to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, Wilson had the fifth-lowest rate of incompletions due to inaccurate passes (25.3%) last season.

At 35, Wilson is not the future franchise quarterback for the Steelers. But can he lead the Steelers to at least a playoff win? Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks there’s “genuine hope” that he can make the Steelers contenders in the AFC.

“The franchise quarterback isn’t here, but I think there’s some hope. And really, some genuine hope with that defense that they have and some of the weapons they have on offense, that maybe they can do something with Russell Wilson,” Fittpaldo said during a recent appearance on the Joe Starkey Show on 93.7 The Fan. “His experience, I think, could really be the key for this team. He’s a veteran, he’s a leader. He knows how to win. He protects the football. So if he comes in here and plays well, I do think the Steelers have a chance to contend in the AFC.”