Russell Wilson addition puts charge into Steelers’ futures

By Thomson Reuters Mar 11, 2024 | 2:17 PM

Russell Wilson’s decision to cook the next chapter of his NFL career in Pittsburgh didn’t cause oddsmakers to flinch, but the public reacted swiftly to the former Super Bowl-winning quarterback choosing the Steelers.

After news broke Sunday night that Wilson had settled on Pittsburgh once he is officially released by Denver, the Steelers’ odds of winning the Super Bowl remained at +8000 at BetMGM. However, the sportsbook reported that since the news, 38 percent of all new bets on the Super Bowl champion next season were placed on Pittsburgh.

The Steelers remain tied for the seventh-longest odds at BetMGM, equal with the team Wilson spent his first 10 NFL seasons with (Seattle at +8000) and slightly ahead of the one he toiled the past two years for (Denver at +10000).

Wilson wasn’t the only major headline ahead of the start of free agency that failed to spark movement in futures markets.

The Kansas City Chiefs remained the +350 favorite to win the AFC Championship and have the second-shortest Super Bowl odds at +650 after defensive lineman Chris Jones reportedly agreed to a $95 million extension. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl odds were unchanged at +6600 after reportedly keeping quarterback Baker Mayfield with a $100 million deal.

Wilson was the first of the starting quarterback dominoes to change destinations this offseason. Whether that proves a significant enough addition for the Steelers to compete in the stacked AFC North — much less the AFC — very much remains to be season

Wilson, 35, also reportedly sat down with the New York Giants before apparently deciding to team up with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Per an ESPN report, Wilson — a former Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback — will sign a team-friendly one-year deal that will result in his former employer, the Denver Broncos, paying $38 million of his salary.

Upon the reports surfacing on Sunday, Wilson posted a video of Steelers fans on X, formerly known as Twitter, along with the caption, “Year 13. Grateful.”

Wilson would join Kenny Pickett, the Steelers’ 2022 first-round pick, as the team’s only quarterbacks under contract. Mason Rudolph started three games and led Pittsburgh to the playoffs in 2023 but is headed to free agency. Mitch Trubisky, who started two games for the Steelers last season, returned to Buffalo, where he played in 2021.

Earlier this week, the Broncos gave Wilson permission to seek a new employer before they officially release him when the 2024 NFL league year begins on Wednesday. The Broncos are facing a huge dead-cap hit of $85 million but can save some money if the veteran lands a new deal.

Wilson was benched for the last two games of the 2023 season to avoid an injury that would trigger guarantees in his contract. He posted an 11-19 record in 30 starts across two seasons with the Broncos.

Wilson took Seattle to a pair of Super Bowls during a decorated decade with the Seahawks, winning a championship at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

He won 104 regular-season games as the starter in Seattle and has passed for 43,653 yards with 334 touchdowns and 106 interceptions in 188 career contests. He has added 5,307 rushing yards and 29 scores.

–Field Level Media