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Steelers Daily News & Links: Clark’s Contract, QB Rumors

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Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark
Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark at training camp, Aug. 8, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Steelers Daily News & Links: Your daily stop for all of the news and links from the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL and around the Sports Now Group.

๐Ÿˆ J.J. Watt still can’t believe that his brother T.J. Watt didn’t win NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“I’ve said all the stuff that needed to be said about my brother.. There’s a ton of great pass rushers in this league but it still boggles my mind,” J.J. Watt said on the Pat McAfee Show.

๐Ÿˆ The Steelers ranked 14th in NFL.com’s final power rankings. Pittsburgh sneaked into the playoffs as a seventh seed, so that ranking seems about right.

New customers to ESPN Bet can get a free $250 bet with any new signup. Click the link and use promo code STEEL to get an extra $50 off, exclusively for Steelers Now readers.

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๐Ÿˆ Former Pitt product and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick thinks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields would be a better fit in Arthur Smith’s offense than Kenny Pickett.

“I don’t want to ever put anybody in front of my boy Kenny Pickett, because Kenny’s my guy, but Justin Fields is one of those dudes where I’m like, might have to put him in front of you, Kenny. Might have to go ahead and work with this because Justin in that offense, it would work,” Riddick said on Get Up.

๐Ÿˆ Former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict claimed that he used to smack around former Steelers running back James Conner. Burfict revealed this during a heated Madden match on Twitch.

โ€œHe used to play for the Steelers. Ugh, James Conner. Go look at the highlights. I used to be smacking him like a rag doll bro,” Burfict said.

๐Ÿˆ Longtime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette write Gerry Dulac doesn’t think Justin Fields will land in Pittsburgh. He thinks the Steelers are all-in on Kenny Pickett being the starter.

“I can’t imagine Fields wanting to sign with a team where he won’t be the No.1 QB. And I don’t believe the Steelers are in the market for a No. 1 QB,” Dulac wrote in his chat.

๐Ÿˆ Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review thinks the Steelers should sign punter Matt Araiza. Araiza was wrongly accused of sexual assault in 2022 and still hasn’t signed with an NFL team.

“Signing Araiza seems an easy decision. Heโ€™s called the ‘Punt God,’ for heckโ€™s sake. The Steelers would turn a weakness into a strength. Donโ€™t doubt Araiza because he has never punted in the NFL. Thatโ€™s digging deep for disbelief. Kicking a ball is kicking a ball. It doesnโ€™t differ between college and pro,” Madden wrote.

Araiza won the Ray Guy Award as the top punter in the nation at San Diego State in 2021. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round in 2022.

๐Ÿˆ Former Steelers free safety Ryan Clark’s future at ESPN is unclear. His contract is expiring, and heโ€™s not sure where negotiations are going to go.

โ€œThe season is over. The deal is up. Time to make a decision,โ€ Clark posted. โ€œEither way it goes. The mission donโ€™t change. I want to be the best doing it. Everyone should. Iโ€™m more motivated today than ever. Iโ€™m still the same #UndraftedFreeAgent!โ€

๐Ÿˆ Colin Cowherd of FS1 doesn’t think Justin Fields would be a fit in Pittsburgh.

“I don’t think this is great for his career. He needs an offensive head coach,” Cowherd said.

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy Birthday to former Steelers offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, born on February 15, 1988 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Gilbert was drafted in the second round by the Steelers out Florida in 2011. He played eight seasons with Pittsburgh, starting 87 games at right tackle. On March 8, 2019, the Steelers agreed to trade Gilbert to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a compensatory sixth-round pick. He was placed on injured reserve on September 10, 2019, with a knee injury. In 2020, he opted out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He retired in April of 2021.

๐ŸŽฅ Sports Spectrum posted a short clip of Minkah Fitzpatrick’s acceptance speech for the Bart Starr Award at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast..

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NEWS FROM AROUND THE SPORTS NOW NETWORK

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins are pushing defenseman Erik Karlsson to finally let loose.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: The Pittsburgh Pirates are interesting in former Yankees starter Domingo German.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: Tight end Karter Johnson will no longer be returning to the Pitt football team for 2024.

West Virginia Sports Now: One NFL analyst made a strong NFL Draft projection about West Virginia center Zach Frazier.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State wrestling dominated Rutgers at the Bryce Jordan Center..

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds overcame a slow start to earn their first preseason win over Loudon.