Russell Wilson announces decision to sign with Steelers in free agency

NBC Sports Bay Area

Pittsburgh has its new QB1.

Nine-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson announced late Sunday he’s planning to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency.

Wilson posted a 50-second video on social media with the caption: “Year 13. Grateful. @Steelers”

The deal reportedly will be a team-friendly, one-year deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, citing sources, since the Denver Broncos are paying $38 million of his salary on his previous contract not to play for them.

Former 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett is the only other QB on the roster with Mitch Trubisky going to the Buffalo Bills and Mason Rudolph entering free agency.

It’s essentially cheap QB competition for Pittsburgh, who haven’t fielded a legitimate starter since the Ben Roethlisberger days.

Wilson, according to Schefter, had a six-hour meeting with Steelers officials on Friday. Head coach Mike Tomlin and new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith were involved, and the two sides ended up having mutual interest.

The New York Giants reportedly were another team who met with Wilson, though it was described as an “exploratory meeting” with Daniel Jones, the current QB1 in the Big Apple, rehabbing from a torn ACL.

Wilson, who will turn 36 in November, had a partial bounce-back campaign with Denver in 2023 under Sean Payton after 2022 with Nathaniel Hackett didn’t go well.

Last season, Wilson, who won the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 season, completed 66.4% of his passes for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight assists.

Tomlin led Pittsburgh to a 10-7 record despite QB struggles before falling to the Bills in the wild-card round.

The Steelers will hope Wilson can win the starting job and be an upgrade on the margins in what is expected to be another tight year in the AFC North.

Pittsburgh also has a regular-season game scheduled at Denver in 2024, so Wilson might not have to wait long to face his former team.

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