Steelers should trade for Russell Wilson in '22, says Bryant McFadden


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will soon complete his 18th season in the NFL, has neither confirmed nor denied recent reports that he's privately told people 2021 will be his final year with the organization.

At this time, Roethlisberger's future is one of the league's worst-kept secrets. The 39-year-old veteran, bruised and battered, has reached the final stage of his career, and Pittsburgh's championship window with him is practically shut. So, who should the franchise target as its quarterback in 2022? According to former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden, the answer is Russell Wilson.

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"This upcoming draft, when it comes to quarterbacks, is very watered-down... The issue with Pittsburgh every year is, they won't be that bad, where they'll have a top-10 pick," McFadden told the Tiki and Tierney show on Wednesday. "Usually, you see some of the biggest difference-makers picked in the top-5, top-10. Pittsburgh won't be in this area. The best way to really improve that position, you've got to get a little spicy, you've got to finesse things up.

"I don't think Wilson will play for Seattle next year... They're going to want a nice, handsome ransom. But that handsome ransom won't be as nice as it would've been last year. If you're Pittsburgh, I'd surrender two first-rounders and maybe a third and a fourth to go get Wilson, put him in a Steeler uniform. And now you're cooking with gas. And we all know gas stoves are the best stoves to cook on, instead of electric."

Wilson, a seven-time Pro Bowler whose long-term future with the Seahawks was questioned during the offseason, hasn't produced an MVP-caliber year. The 33-year-old has played in nine of 12 games -- he recently missed three due to a finger injury -- and owns a 67.2 completion percentage with 2,042 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Seattle is 4-8 overall.

Although there are receiving weapons at Wilson's disposal, his offensive line struggles in pass-protection. Since 2018, Wilson has been sacked 172 times, and he's publicly voiced frustrations with the unit's shortcomings in the past. If Wilson elects to waive his full no-trade clause after this season, teams will need to take hard looks at their cap situations. According to Spotrac, Wilson carries a cap hit of $37 million next year and $38 million in 2023.

Pittsburgh (6-5-1), which currently sits in third place in a tight AFC North race, will visit the Minnesota Vikings (5-7) in a Week 14 matchup on Thursday night. According to FiveThirtyEight projections, the Steelers currently have just an 18-percent chance to reach the playoffs.

The entire NFL conversation between McFadden and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Tiki and Tierney Show on Twitter @TikiAndTierney and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.