Connect with us

Steelers News

Chad Johnson: ‘Little Birdie’ Says Steelers Will Sign Russell Wilson

Chad Johnson says that he has heard from a ‘little birdie’ that the Steelers will end up signing Russell Wilson to a contract.



Pittsburgh Steelers Russell Wilson
Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) before an NFL football game in Empower Field at Mile High Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to make some move at quarterback, whether that is re-signing Mason Rudolph or going out and looking at another veteran. But former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson believes he already knows what is going to happen — and he predicts the team will sign soon-to-be former Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.

We gotta work on the Steelers now,” Johnson said on the Nightcap Show. “A little birdie told me, and I said this many shows ago, Russell Wilson’s coming on over to the Steelers.”

Wilson was benched by the Broncos for the stretch run, after a contract dispute between him and the team over his contract guarantee for the 2025 season, and the Broncos are expected to release him this offseason.

Denver is just two seasons removed from trading for Wilson. The Broncos sent two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant to the Seahawks for Wilson on March 16, 2022.

A Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks, Wilson has struggled in Denver. He posted an 84.4 passer rating in 2022, which was by far the lowest mark of his career, and was sacked a league-high 55 times.

The Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after just one season, trading more draft picks for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton this past offseason, and Wilson has been better with a 98 passer rating in 15 games this season.

But he didn’t prevent the Broncos from missing the playoffs and Wilson hasn’t come close to living up to his five-year, $243 million contract.

The Broncos will absorb a gigantic salary cap hit if they move on from Wilson, but they can minimize it if they release him with a post-June 1 designation. That would still deal them a $34 million dead cap charge over each the 2024 and 2025 seasons. 

It’s even worse if the Broncos try to trade Wilson before June 1, so a release seems most likely, which could set him up to come to the Steelers in free agency. The Steelers are expected to bring in a quarterback to compete with Kenny Pickett for the starting job this offseason.