Quarterback Russell Wilson plans to sign with Steelers when new league year begins

So long a dominant signal-caller in the NFL, Wilson’s transition from a decade in Seattle to the last two years spent in Denver did not go as planned.

The Broncos sputtered to just 5-12 in his first season there, as he threw for a career-low 16 touchdown passes with 11 interceptions while helming the league’s worst-ranked scoring unit.

He showed flashes of old under new head coach Sean Payton in 2023, but the Broncos still went under .500 (7-8) with him as a starter, and he never seemed a natural fit in the system. Denver made the call to bench him for the final two weeks of the season, a precursor to moving on from him months later despite having to eat $85 million in dead money.

Those developments might have put a damper on Wilson’s shine, and the 35-year-old isn’t as spry as he used to be, but there remains a long track record of excellence to be excited about ahead of his move to Pittsburgh.

Wilson, a one-time Super Bowl champion, has 43,653 passing yards, 334 touchdowns and 106 interceptions with a 100.0 career passer rating. Although there will be competition in the form of third-year QB Kenny Pickett, Wilson adds a dynamic not seen for the Steelers since Ben Roethlisberger — before the Pittsburgh legend started to lose his legs toward the end of his career.

Pickett, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, has gone 14-10 as a starter with a paltry 13 touchdowns to match his 13 interceptions. After recovering from injury, he stayed on the bench in favor of Mason Rudolph down the stretch and in the team’s wild-card playoff loss.

Hence, Pittsburgh’s now pivoting to give Wilson a shot.

Should he shake off the Denver years and deliver anything close to his previous highs, the Steelers have a roster capable of making a return trip to the postseason, even in a brutal AFC North, and perhaps going beyond wild-card weekend for the first time since 2017.

First appeared on www.nfl.com

Leave a Comment