Friday, April 12, 2024

Russell Wilson free agency tracker: QB has positive meeting with Steelers but leaves Pittsburgh without deal

It looks like Russell Wilson is going to be a busy man between now and the start of free agency. Although Wilson won’t technically be a free agent until March 13, the Denver Broncos have given him permission to speak with other teams, and it seems that Wilson is taking full advantage of that. 

The Broncos quarterback could end up meeting with as many as three teams, if not more, over the next few days and we’re going to track all of them here. 

Wilson visits the Giants

Wilson started his tour in New Jersey where he had a meeting with the Giants, CBS Sports lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has reported. According to, Wilson had an “exploratory meeting” with the Giants. 

For the Giants, it does make some sense that they’d be interested in Wilson, but if they did sign him, he would almost certainly just be a placeholder. The Giants do have Daniel Jones, but at this point, it’s not clear how committed they are to their starting quarterback. Not to mention, Jones is coming off a torn ACL that he suffered in November, so the team isn’t even completely sure when he’ll be back on the field. Right now, the Giants are hoping that he’ll be cleared for training camp. 

During the NFL Scouting Combine, Giants general manager Joe Schoen did give Jones a small vote of confidence.  

“I have faith in Daniel as our starting quarterback,” Schoen said on Feb. 27

On the other hand, there’s been plenty of speculation that suggests the Giants might be done with Jones

If the Giants want to replace Jones, they could draft a quarterback this year, and with the sixth overall pick, they’re certainly in a spot where they could trade up and land one of the top prospects. As for Wilson, if he’s willing to sign a cheap contract — and he might be up for that since he’ll be making $39 million from the Broncos in 2024 no matter what — then he could possibly be a bridge quarterback for the Giants, a veteran who could help an incoming rookie. 

No matter what happens, the Giants will almost certainly add a quarterback to the roster this year and now seems to be an option. 

Wilson visits with the Steelers 

After meeting with the Giants, Wilson jumped on a Friday flight to Pittsburgh where he met with the Steelers brass for several hours. While he left town without a new deal, Wilson’s meeting with the Steelers was reportedly a good one. 

Wilson spent a considerable amount of time with new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. Wilson, who appeared to enjoy the meeting, did his homework prior to the meeting after talking to several Steelers players, according to CBS Sports senior NFL Insider Josina Anderson. 

Mike Tomlin made it very clear at the end of the season that Kenny Pickett would be facing some competition for his job. The coach had been asked if Pickett would go into the season as the No. 1 quarterback on the Steelers’ depth chart. 

“He will, but there will be competition,” Tomlin said. “There’s always competition in this thing. We don’t anoint anyone. I’m appreciative of his efforts and where he is and excited about continuing to work with him, but certainly, he will be challenged from a competition perspective moving forward.”

At the combine, general manager Omar Khan said he has “full faith” in Pickett, but he also said the team would explore all options when it comes to finding a quarterback. 

“There’s different avenues for us — draft, free agency, the trade market. I would say every one of those avenues is an option for us,” Khan said, via The Athletic. “We’re looking at everything. I have an obligation to this organization, to the players, to the front office, to every member of Steelers nation, to look at every option, every way of trying to improve this team. And we’re going to do so.”

Pickett hasn’t quite lived up to the hype since being taken in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft and the Steelers are clearly getting impatient. Bringing in Wilson would make for an interesting QB competition in Pittsburgh. 

Wilson was in Pittsburgh for several hours on Friday and according to CBS Sports HQ NFL Inside Josina Anderson, things went “great.”

“I was told he sat with Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith ‘for hours’ and that ‘he looked happy,'” Anderson reported. “I was also told Wilson ‘did his homework’ reaching out to some players in advance.”

After leaving Pittsburgh, it’s not clear if Wilson will make any other visits over the weekend, but it’s certainly a possibility. 

Other teams Wilson might visit

Wilson may also meet with the Raiders at some point, according to ESPN

It wouldn’t be shocking at all to see the Raiders schedule a visit with Wilson. Las Vegas is expected to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, which will leave Aidan O’Connell as the top quarterback on the roster. If they think Wilson would be an upgrade over O’Connell, then it would make sense to bring the one-time Super Bowl winning quarterback in for a visit. 

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