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Ex-Steelers LB Thinks Russell Wilson Is Bad Fit For Pittsburgh



Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agent Target Russell Wilson

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Chad Brown, now a Denver Broncos analyst, thinks Russell Wilson landing with Pittsburgh would be an absolute disaster. He just doesn’t see it as a fit, both on and off the field. Wilson had a reputation in Denver as a prima donna.

“I can’t see that relationship going very well either,” Brown said in an interview with Matt Koll of 93.7 The Fan on Friday. “It obviously didn’t go very well with he and Sean Payton. And I can’t imagine Arthur Smith being a fan of that style of quarterback play.

“When I did a coaching internship in Seattle, I heard the rumors about the Russell Wilson thing. But to be in the locker room and the team meetings, and to see the disconnect between he and particularly some guys on the defensive side of the ball. I didn’t think it was very healthy from a locker room relationship standpoint.”

Former NFL linebacker and Pittsburgh native LaVar Arrington had a similar opinion as Brown, stating last week that Wilson’s personality is “too soft” for the Steel City. Arrington and Brown both expressed concerns to whether Wilson has the same grit and drive as he once did, as well.

Russell Wilson is always going to be judged by the height of his career. I don’t think he’s anywhere near that same player anymore,” Brown said.

Wilson debunked any speculation that he lacks motivation during an appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast recently. In fact, he said he wants to win two Super Bowls over the next five years.

“I’ve got more fire now than ever, and for me, it’s all about winning,” Wilson said. “I just want to win. I hope it’s in Denver. I hope I get to finish there. I committed there. I wanted to be there. I want to be there. For me, it’s about winning. Over the next five years, I want to win two. I want to feel that trophy again. I love the city and everything else. But you also want to be in a place that wants you.”

Wilson had a dreadful season in 2022, but he wasn’t awful in 2023, completing 66.4% of his passes for 3,070 yards with 26 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and a 98.0 quarterback rating. It was definitely below the line for what Denver was paying him, however.

Wilson never really was on the same page with Sean Payton, which led to him being benched late in the season. Brown blamed Wilson for not being coachable.

“He would not go through his progressions right. He would run the play not as it was called by Sean Payton but in the Russell Wilson way,” Brown said. “So the defense did not get the look that Sean Payton was trying the defense to see, therefore the setup never happened for the explosive play to be successful later on in the ball game. So that was a major issue for Sean Payton. That’s why I think Russell Wilson was benched, because as the play-caller, you want someone to go out there and execute the play.”

It’s expected that the Broncos will cut Wilson before his 2025 salary of $37 million becomes fully guaranteed on March 17. But with $39 million guaranteed, he is in a unique position to take a lesser contract to help out his new team. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN believes that is exactly what could end up happening if he is cut.

BetOnline has eight options for who could be the Steelers’ Week 1 regular season starter in 2024. Wilson has the best chance, while Kenny Pickett (+300) and Justin Fields (+325) have second and third-shortest odds.