Broncos to bargain bin: QB Russell Wilson officially joins Steelers

By Thomson Reuters Mar 15, 2024 | 11:59 AM


Russell Wilson signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday, sharing a snapshot of the signature moment at the team facility to social media.

Wilson, 35, was released by the Denver Broncos two years into a five-year, $245 million contract he signed after a trade ended his 10-year run with the Seattle Seahawks.

Wilson, who first visited the New York Giants, quickly agreed to join the Steelers after meeting with coach Mike Tomlin and new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Cash committed by the Broncos sets the Steelers up for a serious bargain. Spotrac lists Wilson at No. 79 among quarterbacks in total contract value, behind the likes of Malik Cunningham (Ravens, $1.665 million), Tommy DeVito (Giants, $1.665M), Nate Sudfeld (Lions, $1.6M), Carson Wentz (Rams, $1.32M) and Kyle Allen (Bills, $1.232M).

The Steelers owe the former Super Bowl-winning quarterback and nine-time Pro Bowl pick just $1.2 million for 2024 because the Broncos are obligated to pay $38 million guaranteed in their five-year contract.

By divorcing from Wilson, Denver is taking on a record $85 million dead money hit on the salary cap.

Pittsburgh ownership was adamant there would be competition this season for Kenny Pickett, the Steelers’ 2022 first-round pick and the only other quarterback under contract. Mason Rudolph started three games and led Pittsburgh to the playoffs in 2023 but signed with the Tennessee Titans on Thursday.

Wilson played in two offenses and under two head coaches in Denver. He was benched by Sean Payton for the last two games of the 2023 season. He said the move was a reaction to his resistance to the team demanding Wilson renegotiate his contract. The team’s concern was an injury would trigger guarantees in his contract beyond 2024.

Wilson posted an 11-19 record in 30 starts.

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 in 188 NFL starts.