Why Does JJ Watt Say Russell Wilson Joining the Steelers Is a Perfect Match?

Exploring the financial acumen behind NFL's latest quarterback shift.

by Nouman Rasool
Why Does JJ Watt Say Russell Wilson Joining the Steelers Is a Perfect Match?
© Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Just a week before the NFL free agency period commenced, J.J. Watt, amidst the historic backdrop of London, was approached by Fox News Digital with a speculative inquiry about Russell Wilson's professional future in 2024. Watt, after a moment of contemplation, placed his bet on Pittsburgh as Wilson's next destination.

Indeed, Watt's foresight proved accurate when, merely three days post-prediction, Wilson took to social media to announce his move to Pittsburgh. The quarterback signed a one-year deal with the Steelers, valued at the veteran minimum of $1.12 million, marking a new chapter after his tenure with the Denver Broncos ended disappointingly.

Despite his release, the Broncos are on the hook for Wilson's $38 million yearly salary.

Wilson's Strategic Move

Watt articulated the mutual benefits of Wilson's transition to Pittsburgh, emphasizing the strategic advantage of his signing.

"Russell Wilson's ability to ink a deal at the vet minimum, while concurrently receiving his complete $38 million salary from the Broncos, places him in a distinctively advantageous position. This setup allows him to choose a team where he believes he can make a substantial impact, all the while presenting a phenomenal value proposition for the receiving team," Watt elaborated.

His comments came amid discussions on his collaboration with DICK'S House of Sport, an initiative by DICK'S Sporting Goods to create a more immersive retail experience. Watt touched on the low-risk, high-reward potential Wilson brings to Pittsburgh, especially considering the evolving dynamics within the Steelers' quarterback roster.

Initially, Watt speculated Kenny Pickett as a possible option, but following Wilson's signing, Pickett was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles amid rumors of discontent with the new arrangement. In a subsequent and surprising move, the Steelers acquired Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears, adding depth and competition to their quarterback lineup.

Coach Mike Tomlin has reassured Wilson of his starting position, notwithstanding Fields' presence. Yet, Watt highlighted the strategic flexibility Wilson's one-year contract offers Pittsburgh, particularly if the need arises to pivot to Fields, who is eager to establish himself after three years with Chicago.

Watt, having retired after the 2022 season, has a personal stake in Pittsburgh's success, hoping for a flourishing season alongside his brother, T.J. Watt, the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The formidable defense led by T.J.

Watt, Alex Highsmith, and Minkah Fitzpatrick has been instrumental in Pittsburgh's recent playoff berth, even as the offense struggled to find its footing. The quarterback conundrum in Pittsburgh post-Ben Roethlisberger has been a thorn in the team's side, with Matt Canada's mid-season dismissal as offensive coordinator highlighting the team's offensive challenges.

With Wilson now spearheading the offense, Pittsburgh aims for enhanced efficiency and scoring prowess in 2024, possibly grooming Fields for future leadership.

Russell Wilson Steelers