April 17, 2024

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Report: Steelers plan to sign Russell Wilson to a longer deal after 2024

Report: Steelers plan to sign Russell Wilson to a longer deal after 2024

The Steelers picked the best year to change their ways. They hollowed out a subpar quarterback depth chart, rebuilding it with Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. They will pay them less than $4.5 million combined for 2024, and they gave up a sixth-round pick in 2025 to get them.

They have no commitment to any of the players after this season. If one of them plays well enough to still be a starter beyond next year, so be it. If he does both, “it's a good problem to have.” If they don't, they move on to someone new the next year, without restrictions or consequences.

For now, they are taking a blast furnace by half approach to the situation.

Jerry Dulac Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Who reported one month ago today that the Steelers had… There is no interest in the veteran quarterback with aspirations to start) now indicates that the Steelers intend to sign Wilson.”For a longer deal at the end of the season“.

It's a safe position for the Steelers to take. If Wilson didn't play well, no one would say: “But you were going to sign him to a longer deal!”. If he plays well, it's a no brainer.

Unless, of course, he's playing so well that he wants more than the Steelers are willing to pay him. (That's “another good problem to have,” I guess).

There's another reason that block was leaked to Dulac, who was burned by the Steelers with the Feb. 17 report (which was correct when it was reported). Dulac's latest item arrived right after the Steelers traded for Fields. The goal was to make sure no one thought Fields was acquired to be the starter, and that Wilson would be QB1.

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This is another safe position to take. If Wilson didn't play well and Fields became the starter, no one would say, “But but you created the impression that Wilson was the starter!”

Although Wilson appears ready to abandon the form over substance that has defined various stages of his career, there is still a dance to be done. He feels like he was provoked by the Broncos (regardless of whether he did). The Steelers know they can't create the impression they're bothering him now, such as by using his presence as leverage to get a better deal for Fields, with a secret plan to make Fields the starter.

Regardless, it all comes together perfectly for the Steelers. After the Broncos traded for Wilson in 2022, they should have resisted any overtures to a new contract before his first game with his new team. It created a mess for a Broncos team that would ripple through as much as $85 million in dead money over the next two years.

Thanks to the $39 million the Broncos owe Wilson for 2024 (with Pittsburgh paying just $1.21 million of that), the Steelers can't and won't be pressured to do anything like that until they've had a chance to see what he can do. Wilson. For an entire season.