Plaxico Burress Thinks Steelers Should Sign Former Top 3 Pick at QB

pittsburgh steelers plaxico burress

Getty Plaxico Burress thinks Pittsburgh Steelers should sign Sam Darnold

When the Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2024 NFL offseason, it was clear that they needed big improvement at the quarterback position, but it wasn’t quite as clear where that improvement would come from.

There are a few big names at the position that could become available through free agency or a trade.

There are some interesting options in the upcoming draft.

They could also stick with Kenny Pickett and hope that they improved play comes from the QB they selected 20th overall just two years ago.

If they go with that third option, they’ll need to make sure they have a solid backup in case Pickett struggles again.

Former Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress thinks he knows who that QB should be. During an appearance on the February 26 episode of Fox Sports Radio’s “Up On Game”, Burress revealed that he thinks Pittsburgh should sign San Francisco 49ers QB Sam Darnold.

“You know what makes the most sense for me? When I say this to people, they kind of look at me and they like ‘Well, he’s not the most desirable guy,’ but he fits. It’s Sam Darnold. I think he fits what Pittsburgh wants to do right now. Listen, he’s not young Ben Roethlisberger. He’s not a bad quarterback.”

Overcoming a Bad Start

Darnold knows a thing or two about what Pickett has gone through to start his career.

Expectations were high for him after he was selected third overall by the Jets. He fell well short of those expectations.

Over three seasons in East Rutherford, Darnold struggled with turnovers and accuracy issues.

As a Jet, he completed just under 60% of his pass attempts and threw 39 interceptions.

That came while he only threw 45 touchdown passes in those three years.

Before his fourth season in the league, the Jets decided to move on and traded him to the Panthers.

He struggled again during his first season in Carolina, throwing four more interceptions than touchdowns and once again completing less than 60% of his attempts.

In his second season with the Panthers, Darnold started to turn things around.

He started the year on the bench behind Baker Mayfield, but eventually got the starting job again after the team moved on from Mayfield.

His accuracy issues weren’t solved, but the turnover problems got better. In six starts, he went 4-2 and had the highest touchdown to interception ratio of his career.

Darnold spent the 2023 season on the bench for the 49ers and could be a good backup option for another franchise next season.

The Steelers can’t afford to wait until year five for Pickett to start to get things figured out, so they could bring in Darnold in the hopes that he can teach the young QB how he started to fix his career.

The Steelers’ QB Situation

While there still isn’t a whole lot of clarity on what will happen with the Steelers at quarterback, there are some options they’ve been heavily linked with.

A trade for Justin Fields has been brought up quite a bit recently for the Steelers and they are among the betting favorites to land the Bears QB.

They are also the betting favorite to sign Russell Wilson whenever he is let go by the Broncos. A recent report that Wilson could take a major pay cut in 2024 to play for a contender makes that potential move more likely.

Kirk Cousins is also somewhere in the mix if the Vikings don’t re-sign him, especially now that they should have a bit more cap space than originally expected.

However, the only indication that has been given by the team about what to expect for the position came when Mike Tomlin said the 2024 QB is already on the roster during his end-of-year press conference.

That would still leave them potentially needing a backup if Mason Rudolph leaves.

There are plenty of options there as well.

Ryan Tannehill has experience with Arthur Smith.

Jacoby Brissett has been dependable in stops all around the league.

Gardner Minshew nearly took the Colts to the playoffs in 2023.

Then there’s Darnold, who could use his own career experience to try and help Pickett get on track.

The start of the new league year is quickly approaching, so the Steelers will need to have a clear plan in place soon.

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