Buzz connecting Russell Wilson to Pittsburgh Steelers intensifies as NFL free agency nears

Orel Dizon
4 Min Read
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have emerged as one of the possible destinations for Russell Wilson. It appears that the prospect of the parties eventually coming to an agreement when free agency opens has increased.

“Pittsburgh’s interest in Wilson is indeed real, as was assured to me by a team source,” wrote Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “Wilson arrived at the Steelers facility on Friday afternoon and had what a source described as a ‘very positive’ meeting with the club. While the team has begun the process of rebuilding Kenny Pickett — offensive coordinator Arthur Smith recently visited him in South Florida — the Steelers were always bringing in competition. This would be that and then some, as it’s hard to imagine Wilson as anything other than a starter.

“I’m told Wilson is eager to help his new team on the contract front and enters the free agency process looking not only for the chance to win but also a team with an infrastructure for winning and has done it consistently. Pittsburgh fits that mold. Let’s see how this shakes out, but the Steelers appear well-positioned.”

The Steelers have yet to find their long-term quarterback since the retirement of their former star, Ben Roethlisberger, after the 2021 season. Former first-round pick Pickett has started 12 games each in the past two campaigns, going 7-5 in both instances. But it seems the squad is interested in bringing in competition for the starting spot, even if it is the 35-year-old Wilson.

Spending the first 10 years of his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, Wilson figured in some reported disagreements with the team. Consequently, he was traded to the Denver Broncos in the 2022 offseason. Prior to the start of the 2022 regular season, he and the Broncos agreed to a historic contract extension. Two years later — and before the extension kicked in — they decided to part ways.

It won’t be until the start of the new league year that the nine-time Pro Bowler is officially off Denver’s roster. But the Broncos appear eager to start the moving-on process.

Hoping that the arrival of the former Super Bowl champion would turn the squad into a contender, Denver instead went through two losing seasons.

In the 2022 campaign, the Broncos finished with a 5-12 record and scored the fewest points per game. They also allowed Wilson to be sacked 55 times, resulting in a league-worst 368 sacked yards lost.

The following season was a bit better for the squad, as it improved to 8-9 under new coach Sean Payton. Still, Denver may have decided that the former third-round pick is not worth the headache anymore.

Only time will tell if the Steelers take a flyer on Wilson. They reached the playoffs last season only to fall to the Buffalo Bills in the wild card round. Perhaps the former star quarterback can take them to the next level, even if his Broncos stint wasn’t that inspiring.

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Orel's passion for sports stems from following Michael Jordan’s last title runs with the Chicago Bulls and his namesake Orel Hershiser’s Cleveland Indians tenure in the late 1990s.