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Steelers Considered 2 Other Vet QBs Before Inking Russell Wilson



Russell WIlson Steelers Quarterback

The Pittsburgh Steelers have dramatically altered the quarterback room this offseason with signing Russell Wilson to a veteran minimum deal and acquiring Justin Fields via a trade with the Chicago Bears. The latter move came to fruition once 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett expressed unhappiness with the Wilson signing and requested to be traded. The Steelers obliged and shipped him to the cross-state Philadelphia Eagles.

In February, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Steelers were not interested in signing or otherwise acquiring a quarterback that will demand to be the team’s starter. General Omar Khan declared at the NFL Combine that he and the team had “full faith” in Pickett being the starting quarterback.

It appeared that a duo of Pickett and Ryan Tannehill were going to be the Steelers quarterbacks in 2024. Tannehill was heavily linked to Pittsburgh because new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith’s was his head coach in Tennessee.

It tuns out Tannehill was a consideration by the Steelers, according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN. They also gave a quick look at Kirk Cousins.

“The Steelers also considered reuniting Tannehill with his former offensive coordinator Smith, and gave a cursory look at Kirk Cousins before quickly deciding signing him was out of their price range. Pickett remained Plan A,” Pryor wrote in a extensive article on how the Steelers quarterback room transformed in 13 days.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed on Monday at the NFL owner’s meetings that they did not visit with now Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency. Cousins, who ended up a four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed, never seemed like a realistic option at that price point.

It was reported directly after they traded for Fields that Wilson would start or maintain the pole position in the battle.  Tomlin confirmed that at the NFL owner’s meetings on Sunday.

However, Pryor states that the Steelers never assured Wilson that he would start before he signed, and he never asked for any, either.

“Wilson didn’t ask for assurances about a starting job, according to a source familiar with the conversations, and the Steelers didn’t give any.

“He’s competed all of his life,” the source said. “He’s not afraid of it,” Pryor wrote.