News Now: Pittsburgh Steelers QB Coach Has A Misunderstanding With Newly Signed QB Russell Wilson, Says He Is Not Capable Enough For…

Dec 31, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Easton Stick (2) and Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) after the game at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Rumors about Russell Wilson: Steelers Didn’t Promise QB1 Job After $1.2M FA Contract

Russell Wilson was not assured of being the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers when he first made the decision to sign with them, even though head coach Mike Tomlin had talked about him being the primary quarterback going into 2024.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 07: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos warms up against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on January 07, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 27-14. (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images)

The Steelers “didn’t give any” guarantees to Wilson when he signed with them following his release from the Denver Broncos, according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor.

The source claimed, “He’s competed all of his life.” “He’s not afraid of it.”

At this week’s NFL owners meetings, Tomlin informed reporters that Wilson is in the “pole position” to start over Justin Fields, but he did not rule out a competition at any point:

“Rest assured, when it comes time to compete, Justin will be given an opportunity to compete. It will allow those guys to sort themselves out. Russell’s in the pole position. I think his body of work justifies that. He’s just got a lot of experience in terms of what it takes to be the guy over the course of a 12-month calendar. And I just think that’s something that a younger guy like Justin can learn from.”

Pryor did note that Wilson didn’t seek any assurances from the Steelers when he signed with them.

Based on how things have gone for Wilson over the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos, there was no reason for Pittsburgh to guarantee him a starting job.

There’s certainly a possibility that Wilson will be an upgrade over what the Steelers got from Kenny Pickett in 2023. But the team has also given itself a good backup plan by bringing in Fields.

Wilson threw for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns and completed 66.4 percent of his attempts in 15 starts for the Broncos last season. Pickett has thrown a total of 13 touchdowns in 25 games over the past two seasons.

Based on ESPN’s QBR metric, Wilson ranked 21st among 30 qualified quarterbacks last season with a 50.7 rating. Pickett was 27th at 38.1, ahead of only Mac Jones, Bryce Young and Zach Wilson.

Fields, who had a 46.1 QBR, was ranked No. 23, a few points behind Wilson. He does provide a running element that offensive coordinator Arthur Smith can use to enhance the offense. Over the previous three seasons, the 25-year-old has gained 2,220 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air.

At this stage of the offseason, there’s no reason Tomlin should name a starter with certainty. The team’s quarterback rotation in Pittsburgh should stabilize as training camp and the preseason unfold this summer.

Wilson should have an advantage due to his 2023 performance and his 12-year NFL career’s worth of effort, but Fields is younger and a more dynamic athlete, so things will at least get interesting as the race heats up.

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