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NFL Executive Envisions Early Release of Russell Wilson if Outplayed by Justin Fields



Russell Wilson Steelers Quarterback

Russell Wilson is set to be the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback in 2024. However, with the team trading for 25-year-old quarterback Justin Fields on Saturday. Many wonder how long Wilson’s tenure as the starter will last.

Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday, Nick Wright of FS1 expressed that he’s not fond of Wilson. He thinks the 35-year-old quarterback is washed and that Justin Fields will take over as the starter by Week 7 or Week 8.

“I know what Russell Wilson is right now. I think Russell Wilson is a quarterback who will be benched by the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Wright said.

During ESPN’s NFL Live on Tuesday, Adam Schefter took it a step further and revealed that an executive told him that Wilson could be released before Week 1 if things go haywire.

“Think about the investment they have in each player. They essentially are giving Russell Wilson $1.2 million, while the Denver Broncos are paying him almost $38 million this year. Very little investment,” Schefter said. “They gave up a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick for Justin Fields. Very little investment. They have the luxury of letting this play out during camp and doing whatever is best for that football team.

“There’s no commitment, obligation, loyalty to any of these guys. They didn’t pay much for either one of them. I even had one executive say if Justin Fields outplayed him, Russell Wilson, during training camp, they could see them moving on from him before the season.”

Unless the Steelers select a quarterback in the mid rounds of the draft, it’s hard to see the Steelers moving on from Wilson. It really doesn’t make sense either way. Wilson could still serve as a mentor and backup to Fields if he gets beat out.

Fields will play under the final season of his rookie contract in Pittsburgh in 2024, and he’s set to earn $3.233 million in the upcoming year. After that, it depends on what the Steelers and Omar Khan decide to do with his option. If the club declines it, Fields can become a free agent. If the Steelers pick it up, they’ll owe him $25.664 million, fully guaranteed in 2025.

The Steelers have other options. They can roll the dice with Fields and let him become a free agent at the end of the year. If he doesn’t start in 2024, he will be unlikely to land a huge deal on the free agent open market, and the Steelers may be able to afford to re-sign him.

Even with acquiring Fields, the Steelers still plan on extending Wilson after the 2024 season, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wilson turns 36 in November

The Steelers signed Wilson for just $1.21 million on the veteran minimum, as Denver owes him nearly $38 million in guaranteed salary in 2024. Dulac reiterated on The Rich Eisen Show that the plan for the Steelers is to sign Wilson long-term after 2024.

“It’s Russ’ intention, and the Steelers intention, and two people have told me this who would know. They want to do a longer deal. Now I don’t know what longer means, but their intentions are to do a longer deal after this year,” Dulac said.