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Former Steelers WR Wants Team to Sign Sam Darnold

The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting some outside advice to try and sign 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold.



Pittsburgh Steelers Sam Darnold
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 20: New York Jets Quarterback Sam Darnold (14) celebrates after winning their first game of the season during an NFL game between the New York Jets and the Los Angeles Rams on December 20, 2020, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the teams that will shop in the second-tier of free agent quarterbacks, including their own quarterback who they would like back, Mason Rudolph. Obviously, they want to give Kenny Pickett as much help for the all-critical third year he has coming up with the team.

However, if Rudolph goes elsewhere, that could open up the list of possibilities to someone like Ryan Tannehill. But former Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress has another name that he would like to see added instead — 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold.

“You know what makes the most sense to me? When I say this to people, they kind of look at like, ‘Well, he’s not the most desirable guy,’ but he fits; it’s Sam Darnold,” Burress said on Fox Sports Radio. “I think he fits with what Pittsburgh wants to do right now. He’s not young Ben Roethlisberger, but he’s not a bad quarterback.”

It’s a different suggestion from others thrown out there. Darnold was Brock Purdy’s backup this season after beating out Trey Lance, which forced the 49ers to move the former third-overall pick. Darnold seems feasible in that second-tier of quarterbacks, and since he is only 27 years old, Darnold would at least have some upside to churn out of his game.

The Steelers like signing players with big-time pedigree, either in football bloodlines or as big-time athletes. Darnold checked that box as a former third-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He spent his first three seasons in New York with the Jets before being traded to the Carolina Panthers. But after both stops failed to give him any success, he joined the 49ers before the 2023 season.

In his career, Darnold has 63 touchdowns to 58 interceptions and has thrown for over 12,000 yards. Darnold played in San Francisco’s regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams and completed 16 passes on 26 attempts while amassing 189 yards and two touchdowns, one rushing and one through the air.

Darnold will be a backup option if Rudolph leaves simply because he appears to have some upside that could be there. But it still seems likelier that they would pivot to Tannehill with his connections to new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.