They will pay them a total of less than $4.5 million for 2024 and gave up a sixth-round pick in 2025 to get them.

And they have no commitments to either player after this season. If one of them plays well enough to remain in the starting 11 beyond next year, so be it. If both, "it's a good problem to have." If neither, they move on to someone new next year, with no strings attached and no cap implications.

For now, they are approaching the situation with the half-full approach of a blast furnace.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (who reported a month ago today that the Steelers were not interested in a veteran quarterback with a starting dream) now reports that the Steelers plan to sign Wilson to a "longer deal" at the end of the season "

It's a safe position for the Steelers to take. If Wilson doesn't play well, nobody's going to say, "But you were thinking about signing him to a longer contract!" If he plays well, that's fine.

As long as he doesn't play well enough to demand more than the Steelers are willing to pay (another "good problem to have" I guess).

There's another reason to leak this nugget to Dulac, which someone from the Steelers burned in a report dated February 17 (which was true when it was reported). The latest Dulac product came right after the Steelers traded for Fields. The important thing was to make sure no one believed that Fields was the starter and Wilson would be QB1.

This is another safe position to take. If Wilson doesn't play well and Fields is the starter, no one is going to say, "But but you created the impression that Wilson was the starter!"

While Wilson seems willing to put aside the form over substance that has characterized various stages of his career, there is still a dance to be done. He feels shaken up by the Broncos (regardless of whether or not he did it). The Steelers know they can't create the impression that they're going to stall him by, for example, using his presence as leverage to get a better deal for Fields and a secret plan to make Fields the starter.

Dawn Staley is an outfit tracker: What does the South Carolina coach wear to every game in March Madness? Dawn Staley is an outfit tracker: What does the South Carolina coach wear to every game in March Madness?

Regardless, everything is coming together perfectly for the Steelers. After the Broncos traded for Wilson in 2022, they should have resisted any suggestion of a new contract before he made his debut with his new team. This created a mess for the Broncos that amounted to $85 million in dead money over the next two years.

Thanks to the $39 million the Broncos owe Wilson for 2024 (Pittsburgh is only paying $1.21 million of that), the Steelers can't and won't push for something like this until they have a chance to see what Wilson can do. for an entire season.