“Year 13. Grateful” – Russell Wilson Announces He’s Headed To The Pittsburgh Steelers For One Last Chance To Start In The NFL

Russell Wilson
I Am Athlete

Looks like Kenny Pickett has some serious company, and most importantly, legitimate competition. Super Bowl champion quarterback and nine-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson is taking his talents to the Pittsburgh Steelers after meeting with them earlier this week.

Mr. Unlimited posted to X late Sunday night to confirm the big news, which will mark Wilson’s third different team in a four-year span:

The Denver Broncos unceremoniously booted Wilson out the door (read: don’t let it hit your a**, Russ) and voluntarily ate $85 million in dead money. That’s a hell of a lot of cash to pay for someone not to play for you. In that hyperlinked post right there, this writer more or less bang-on predicted that Wilson would wind up in Pittsburgh. It was frankly the only destination that made the faintest amount of sense to accommodate Wilson’s “two Super Bowls in five years” aspirations.

Pickett was a later first-round pick a couple years ago, and simply hasn’t produced enough — 13 TD passes, 13 INTs in 25 career games (24 starts) — to merit unquestioned QB1 status. Wilson threw double the amount of TDs Pickett has in the NFL to date during the 2023 season alone, with 26 TDs to only eight INTs. That’s a pretty bad look for Kenny P, who should get beat out in an open training camp competition if Mike Tomlin decides said competition They on anything other than merit.

This is a nice step forward for the Steelers organization. They were loyal to a fault to Ben Roethlisberger at the end of his career, didn’t have a good succession plan for him, and drafted Pickett out of the University of Pittsburgh at 20th overall in the 2022 draft. That also happened to precede the first of two brutal seasons for Wilson in Denver. If you told just about anyone right before the 2022 season that, in less than two calendar years, Wilson and Pickett would be competing for the Steelers’ starting job, you’d be laughed out of the room.

At least Pittsburgh isn’t sadistically torturing their fans with the thought of Mason Rudolph being a franchise quarterback. Not to say he didn’t play well when he was thrust into late-season duty, but come on. Rudolph was interning at a real estate firm this past offseason, preemptively preparing for life after football. He’s a free agent, and if he was the main competition for Pickett in ’24, let’s just say Steelers fans would’ve likely frowned upon that.

I think Wilson fits rather well with what Pittsburgh will aspire to do. New offensive coordinator Arthur Smith loves to run the ball, and the Steelers have a killer defense. That’s the general-ish winning formula that defined Wilson’s long period of success with the Seattle Seahawks. Expect a heavy dose of that, and as long as Russ isn’t totally washed, he should beat out Pickett and have Pittsburgh right in the playoff mix in a loaded AFC.

Although he should be a considerable upgrade over what we’ve seen from Pickett to date, Wilson has his work cut out to hang with his AFC North counterparts in Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow and even Deshaun Watson. I’m nevertheless excited to see how it all shakes out, because if Wilson flops with the Steelers, his path to another starting gig basically doesn’t exist, and Pittsburgh would, in all likelihood, overhaul its puzzlingly conservative approach to the quarterback position dating back to the late Big Ben era.

Now for the best of the best of the best, sir, reactions. You know they’re good since it’s Russell Wilson we’re talking about here. I’d say reviews on this transaction are mixed to not great but very funny all the same.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock