Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Russell Wilson joins Steelers: Here’s why QB thinks he can help Pittsburgh ‘win now’

Three of the NFL’s six highest-paid quarterbacks play in the AFC North. Then, you have Russell Wilson, who is slated to start for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2024 while playing under a veteran’s minimum salary.

Wilson signed a one-year, $1.21 million deal with the Steelers, while the Broncos are paying him $39 million not to play for them this season. The amount of money Pittsburgh is saving isn’t lost on Wilson, who said that his cheap salaries is one of the biggest benefits of joining the Steelers.  

“When you think about it, to be released but then to come here and to know that it’s not going to cost very much,” Wilson said with a laugh during an interview with Steelers.com. “The best part about it is we get to add more players and do more things, and really, go win. Go win now and that’s our focus.”

Wilson’s signing is already paying dividends. After signing Wilson, the Steelers went out and signed former Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen to a three-year, $41 million deal. They also signed veteran safety DeShon Elliott to a two-year, $6 million deal and veteran wideout Van Jefferson to a one-year deal. 

The Steelers aren’t done yet, either. With about $15 million in cap space, Pittsburgh is still in the market for a veteran wideout. There is reportedly mutual interest between Pittsburgh and Tyler Boyd, who is drawing interest from several teams. The Steelers could also choose to pursue Mike Williams, the Chargers‘ former 1,000-yard wideout who was recently released. 

The extra cap space will also give the Steelers the ability to sign players in-season if a notable player somehow become available. Injuries are inevitable, so having extra money to sign someone in a pinch is never a bad thing. 

Wilson’s contract allowed the Steelers to acquire Justin Fields in a trade with the Chicago Bears. The Steelers will pay less than $4.5 million this season for both Wilson and Fields. 

While his contract is only for the 2024 season, Wilson doesn’t see himself leaving Pittsburgh any time soon. The Steelers don’t, either, as the two are supposed to come to terms on an extension next offseason, according to the Post-Gazette

“I want to be a part of the Pittsburgh community for a really long time, and I’m really excited about that,” Wilson said. “Hopefully we can add more championships here.” 

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