Bold Steelers Prediction Sees $118 Million QB Starting in Pittsburgh - Sport News

Bold Steelers Prediction Sees $118 Million QB Starting in Pittsburgh

Since the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Arthur Smith to be their next offensive coordinator, Ryan Tannehill has been frequently linked with the team.

Pittsburgh Steelers may target Ryan Tannehill in free agency

If the Steelers were to sign Tannehill rather than pursuing one of the bigger names available this offseason, it is assumed that they would be bringing him in to serve as the backup to Kenny Pickett.

Maybe that won’t be the way things stay if he is actually brought in.

In an article of bold predictions for each NFL team in 2024, Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr predicted that Tannehill would end up starting at least four games for the Steelers in 2024.

“This isn’t an anti-Kenny Pickett take, but it is an acknowledgement that the Steelers have some pressure to perform, they play in a tough division and were aggressive in pursuing Arthur Smith when Smith was let go by the Atlanta Falcons. Mason Rudolph is a pending free agent, and while he may end up possessing a higher upside than Tannehill, the Steelers could find some Tommy Maddox-style magic in the arm of the former first-round pick.”

Pressure on Pickett

Orr mentioned pressure on the Steelers to perform and Pickett will absolutely be feeling that pressure in 2024.

Since the team selected Pickett 20th overall in 2022 to replace Ben Roethlisberger as the organization’s franchise quarterback, the young QB has struggled.

Pickett has a winning record as a starting QB in the NFL, but his performances have left a lot to be desired.

He has a 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio and averages 179 passing yards per game through the first two seasons of his career.

A lot of the blame for his struggles was placed on former offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Canada is gone now, so there will be nobody to blame if Pickett doesn’t improve.

The team is giving him one more chance to prove he can be their franchise QB. If he doesn’t take major strides in 2024, then we could see the Steelers finish the season with a backup QB under center for a second year in a row.

In 2024, maybe that will be a QB who has some history with the team’s offensive coordinator.

How Tannehill Fits With the Steelers

The big advantage that Tannehill has over other QBs the Steelers could look at this offseason is his familiarity with the offense they’ll be running.

It happens to be the offense he played in for the best seasons of his NFL career.

In two seasons with Smith as his OC, Tannehill threw for 6561 yards and 55 touchdowns in 28 games. He even earned a Pro Bowl nod in one of those seasons.

Tannehill posted a record of 18-8 as a starter while playing for Smith.

He had a lot of success in the Titans’ run-first offense that mixed in plenty of play action. That play earned him a 4-year $118 million contract in Tennessee.

If Pickett stumbles and the Steelers decide to admit defeat, there would be no learning curve for Tannehill to take over as the starting QB.

With Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, and the potential for the team to add a new slot receiver during the offseason, Tannehill would have arguably the best group of pass catchers he’s played with in his NFL career.

The former Titans QB had a rough 2023 season and his time as a starting QB is believed to be over, but maybe that can change if he signs with the Steelers.

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