So, the Steelers made a huge statement/declaration Sunday by signing Russell Wilson off the scrap heap. So many ‘tells’, for the Steelers, by making this move. Here are a few of my assumptions/guesses/reads on the situation as an initial reaction...


1) This is a vote of ‘no confidence’ for Kenny Pickett.

But let me first give my Pickett theory/assumption, and then we can move forward with why I’ll take the stance that I do...

I think Kenny Pickett is a talent.

And (to: new reader of my work) if you decide to stop reading this after that statement – you’re a sucker for what you’re being fed by the Bryce Young-loving football analysts who mislead you on Bryce...and that 90%+ of the time never evaluate the QBs correctly, and are always in agreement with each other about said wrong scouting. And you don’t know how revelatory I’ve been at scouting QB talent for the past decade.

I’m not saying that to toot my own horn...I am imploring you to listen/consider a different voice instead of the garbage you’re fed weekly/annually by the hivemind of football agreement/analysis.

Nope...I just lost most of them. You cannot break through the stranglehold that is the religious faith in the football media/analysis group...the force is strong with them. Congrats to those still open to my premise...

I think Pickett is a very solid ‘B’ grade potential QB prospect. I believe most of his NFL problems can be pinned on the Steelers O-C Matt Canada issue of 2022 and half+ of 2023. Then when Pitt made a change at O-C (Week 11) wasn’t too soon after that Pickett got hurt, and he lost the benefit of the O-C change.

Did you know that Pickett had not completed more than 68% of his passes in any game in 2023, and most games were under 63% down into the 50s, UNTIL the O-C change? Pickett played one full game with the new O-Cs and completed 72.7% of his passes in a win against Cincy. The following week, Pickett started out (and ended) at 70.0%...but then got hurt and was gone. You could see the hope/improvement from the O-C change...but then Pickett was gone.

Pickett was replaced by Mason Rudolph who had a very lucky streak of play, which the fans took as: ‘See, Mason Rudolph is doing great...Pickett must really suck!’ Rudolph really just had one lucky game, and I do mean lucky, in his first full start...and then he started producing with the Pickett-like output...higher Comp. Pct. and no INTs but low/no TD passes otherwise. Rudolph connected on 3-4 lucky big bombs (with amazing catches and run-after-catch) to George Pickens, in his couple game run at QB, and was otherwise flirting with disaster or throwing checkdowns to preserve a lead against some of the worst defenses in the NFL he got to face down the stretch. It was a perfect storm for Rudolph to look ‘plausible’...a chance Pickett got robbed of.

The media turned on Pickett, as they do to most QBs after their rookie season...whenever there is a bad/unpleasing season, the media (and thus the fans) turn/go for the kill...we’ve seen this with Andy Dalton, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins among many others in recent years...including Russell Wilson, oddly enough.

Pickett, for all intents and purposes, is dead to the Bryce Young/Sam Darnold/Jameis Winston/Deshaun Watson loving media and fans.

I think Pickett has gotten the rawest of deals, for a career start, being stuck with the Steelers and Matt Canada.

So, I come back to my original statement: This is a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Pickett. The Steelers management can say whatever they want in the media – signing ‘free’/cheap Russell Wilson is not like Tampa getting Tom Brady. The Steelers made this move out of desperation and ‘no confidence’ in Pickett…and no one really wants Russell Wilson…everybody wanted Tom Brady


2) How could you think this is gonna work for Russell Wilson?

The QB who Pete Carroll ended up hating at the end of their run...the QB who Denver/Sean Payton just paid a ton of money to get rid he’s going to land with arguably the single worst offensive mind we’ve seen the past two years (Arthur Smith) on a team that has been dreadful on offense since Big Ben lost his fastball – they are somehow going to fix the broken down car that is Russell Wilson and become an offensive juggernaut? Sean Payton didn’t want this...but Arthur Smith is going to take it to new heights?

The Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz career-ending arcs are pretty similar...their own teams don’t want them, but there’s a more desperate sucker to take the chance on them because they were good a few years ago...but then their new-new team quickly turns on them too, but then there’s another desperate sucker to take the chance #3. Three strikes and they’re ‘out’.


3) This is a desperate move by Mike Tomlin and/or Arthur Smith...

It’s one thing to lose faith in Kenny Pickett, which I don’t think Tomlin is totally out/over on Pickett...but faced with the choice of ‘standing with Pickett’ or taking a broken-down Russell Wilson for 2024, knowing it will crush the relationship with Pickett long-term – Tomlin went the Carson Wentz...I mean, Russell Wilson route. It may be best for business in 2024...maybe...but it’s not best for business’s’s reaching.

Arthur Smith wants his Desmond Ridder to run the offense without question. Art doesn’t want a QB to try to make plays, or even want to try to make plays...he wants a QB to run the horrific playbook the exact way Arty dreams it up. Russell Wilson is your teacher’s pet/checkdown Charlie (at this stage) QB...a QB scared to cut the ball loose the past 2-3 years. And that’s PERFECT for Arthur Smith...exactly what he wants in a QB...a fearful of turnovers game manager QB.


4) What does Kenny Pickett’s team do now, as a reaction?

I tried to think about what I would advise Pickett to do this day/upcoming week... My visceral reaction to it is to advise to demand a trade, but Pickett has no value right now. This is like when the Browns ditched Baker Mayfield for Deshaun Watson...Baker was hated/written off by the media and thus fans at the time; he had no real value. *FYI, Baker just earned a 3-year/$100M deal...another thing the football hivemind got wrong about NFL QBs*

If Pickett demands a trade...where’s he gonna go? He’s Baker Mayfield 2022 toxic/despised.

So, then I thought...maybe I’d advise him to accept this for a year, be a good soldier and show the league how compliant you the game...and look to be a starter again in 2025. That sounds great, but what if Russ does well/OK? Will there be a spot here in 2025? Also, staying with Pitt means you’re with this disastrous organization (for offense) again – even if Pickett is reinstalled as a starter, in 2024 or 2025...he’s still with the people authoring QB demises.

In the end, I’d advise Pickett to go to management and quietly request the opportunity to find a trade. Then I’d call Sean McVay then Kevin O’Connell then Kyle Shanahan then Sean Payton as I was leaving the building. I’d try and get myself with one of the great offensive head coaches to rehab my career...preferably to the Rams to be the hopeful bridge to Stafford’s end of career...but maybe if the Vikings miss on Kirk Cousins, Pickett could start 2024 for Minnesota as an option. Likely, Pickett’s value is so ‘down’ team will trade for him to start, and rookies are magical unicorns coaches want lottery tickets on, so Pickett probably needs to find the best backup situation he can vs. being a backup for this Steelers pending disaster staff.

Pickett should go to the Steelers with this request quietly...then if rejected, he should then scream it to the rooftops. Scrub the team from his social what all unhappy players do to get what they want, piss the arrogant coaches off so that they show the QB who is boss.

As a bonus, I wish I could advise George Pickens to do the same (demand a trade) – he’s going to die here just like Pickett will if he stays. Millions of dollars are being lost at the folly of Tomlin/Art Smith...just ask Kyle Pitts.


5) The FF Ramifications...

I was already 100% ‘out’ on FF-everything Steelers with Tomlin calling the shots...but then when they added Arthur Smith, I was 110% with Russell Wilson, I’m 120% out on all the related things.

I called the Najee Harris disaster right out of the gates, another thing this organization, this entire NFL analysis group/hivemind got wrong – but he’s gonna be the focal point of the offense, again, and broken-down Russ will be his QB. How could this possibly go right for the Steelers offense?

I realize, somehow Tomlin, will get this team to 9-8, earn a wild card spot in some last second way, as Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson are walking downtown to eat lunch together and a piano breaks loose off a crane and crashes onto them ending their seasons a few days before Week 1 of the 2024 season, thus allowing the Browns and Steelers to find a way to the playoffs – but even if they hit .500+ again, the Steelers offense, like it was in 2023...and 2022...and 2021, will still be a disaster for FF (and NFL) purposes.