Steelers Connected to ‘Bargain Bin’ QB for 2024

At the beginning of the offseason and even before the 2023-24 playoffs, members of the media connected the Pittsburgh Steelers to big-named quarterbacks such as Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson. With the team now in full offseason mode, those rumors have quieted a little, but new possibilities have arisen.

Kenny Pickett Jacoby Brissett

Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox argued on February 1 that the Steelers should consider reaching into the league’s “bargain bin” for free agent quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

“He would also make sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who plan to bring in competition for Kenny Pickett this offseason,” wrote Knox.

Brissett appeared in 3 games for the Washington Commanders last season. It was a small sample, but Brissett played very well.

He completed 18 of 23 passes for 224 yards with 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions in those 3 appearances.

In his eight-year NFL career, Brissett has played for the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns in addition to the Commanders. He made his last start for the Browns in 2022.

During 2023, Brissett earned a base salary of $3 million. He also had a cap hit of $8.5 million.

How Jacoby Brissett Potentially Fits With Steelers

A former third-round pick for the Patriots in 2016, Brissett has been a serviceable signal caller during his career.

He filled in for an injured Andrew Luck for an entire season twice with the Colts. Brissett also started in place of Tua Tagovailoa for five games in 2021 and began 2022 as Cleveland’s starter with Deshaun Watson suspended.

Brissett owns an 18-30 record as a starter. He has posted a 61.3% completion percentage with a 6.6 yards per attempt average in 79 games. He also has 51 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

The Steelers have made it no secret that they’d prefer to have Mason Rudolph back for the 2024 season. But he is a free agent and may consider this offseason as his best chance to cash in on a big pay day.

As Knox put it, Brissett would “make sense” as a Rudolph alternative. A big-named quarterback such as Cousins or Wilson would send Kenny Pickett to the bench.

That’s not what the Steelers have expressed wanting. Rather, the franchise is searching for a signal caller to push Pickett and continue to teach him how to be a professional.

Brissett could do both for an affordable price. That’s key with the Steelers sitting more than $14 million over the salary cap according to Spotrac.

Other QB Options for Steelers

The market has yet to determine whether there will be other “bargain bin” quarterback options for the Steelers to potentially target. But there isn’t a shortage of signal callers who will likely be a backup next season.

With the Steelers hiring Arthur Smith as offensive coordinator, chatter that the Steelers could bring in veteran Ryan Tannehill has begun to grow. That’s likely to continue until at least the beginning of free agency.

Former Pittsburgh linebacker Arthur Moats urged the Steelers on The Arthur Moats Experience with Deke Podcast on January 25 to target former first-round pick Sam Darnold.

Darnold is only one year older than Pickett, but he has four more years of NFL experience.

Drafting a quarterback is always a possibility as well. NFL draft insiders have linked the Steelers to multiple signal callers in the upcoming class, including mid-to-late-round quarterbacks such as Jordan Travis.

With more than a month still remaining until free agency, rumors are likely to continue swirling around Pittsburgh’s quarterback situation. Brissett landing with the Steelers appears as likely as any of the possible outcomes.

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