Connect with us

Steelers News

Fowler: Steelers ‘Well-Positioned’ to Land Russell Wilson

The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly well-positioned to land Russell Wilson after his visit to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.



Pittsburgh Steelers Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson warms up against the Steelers, Oct. 17, 2021 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers are ‘well-positioned’ to land former Broncos and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. He described the team’s visit with Wilson as extremely positive, and it appears that Wilson is looking for a team with strong infrastructure already built in, which could be positive for Pittsburgh.

“Pittsburgh’s interest in Wilson is indeed real, as was assured to me by a team source. Wilson arrived at the Steelers facility on Friday afternoon and had what a source described as a “very positive” meeting with the club,” Fowler wrote. “…. Let’s see how this shakes out, but the Steelers appear well-positioned.”

Wilson had a long meeting with the team, including Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.

The Steelers are able to meet with Wilson before the start of free agency because the Broncos gave him permission to talk to other teams after telling him that he will be released. Wilson has not had reported contact with any other team so far, though there is expected to be interest from other parties.

The Steelers are searching for competition for starting quarterback Kenny Pickett, and Wilson represents some of the strongest available competition on the open market. He could also come at a minuscule price, at least for 2024. The Broncos gave Wilson a guaranteed $39 million in salary for the 2024 season, and any amount the Steelers or any other team would pay him would simply be removed from Denver’s commitments.

The sticking point in negotiations may come down to what happens in 2025 and beyond. Wilson will turn 36 during the 2024 season, and it’s uncertain if the Steelers will want to make a more-than-one-year commitment to the veteran passer.

Statistically, Wilson had a rebound in 2023 after a rough season in 2022. Last year, Wilson started 15 games for the Broncos, completing 297 of 447 passes (66.4%) for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 98.0 passer rating and a 6.04 adjusted net yards per attempt. 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.

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 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. Wilson played better, but he did not appear to have a solid relationship with Payton, who has gone out of his way to criticize Wilson this offseason.

The Broncos absorbed a gigantic salary cap hit in order to move on from Wilson. They can minimize it if they release him with a post-June 1 designation, but that would still deal them a$85 million in dead cap charges over each the 2024 and 2025 seasons.