Ranking the available Free Agent Quarterbacks for the Steelers in 2024

These are the top 10 free agent quarterbacks that the Steelers should pursue in 2024.

Washington Commanders v Los Angeles Rams
Washington Commanders v Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers don't seem to be interested in significantly upgrading the quarterback room during the 2024 offseason. A report from Mike DeFabo of The Athletic suggested that Pittsburgh is 'not interested' in signing Russell Wilson and that they are not actively pursuing a trade for Justin Fields or a top free agent.

Still, there's no question that this team needs to add talent at the quarterback position. Just ahead of free agency, Kenny Pickett is the only quarterback on Pittsburgh's roster. We know this team always carries three quarterbacks, so moves will be coming soon.

But what could those changes look like?

Personally, I think the Steelers have misplaced confidence in former first-round pick, Kenny Pickett, but it looks like he's going to get the nod as the starter for the third straight season. Assuming Pittsburgh wants to get serious about the QB position, I ranked the top 10 free-agent quarterbacks for the Steelers in 2024 based on their current situation and fit with the team.

1. Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins is obviously the most coveted quarterback of this group, and there are already whispers that he's going to be headed to Atlanta to be the next Falcons QB. Nothing is set in stone, and Omar Khan would be foolish not to look into the asking price of his next deal. Cousins isn't a flashy player, but he has recorded a passer rating of over 103 in 4 of the last five seasons. he would give Pittsburgh a bigger upgrade than any QB on the free agent market.

2. Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield is coming off a very impressive season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Baker, the talent has always been there (he is a former No. 1 pick), but his career has been up and down, and his lack of height from the pocket is, by his own admission, an issue at times. Still, Mayfield is exactly what this Steelers team could use -- a fiery competitor with a chip on his shoulder. The veteran QB also earned a big upset win over the Eagles in the Wild Card round of the playoffs during the postseason.

3. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson's career in Denver was a short-lived trainwreck. Despite his resume as a nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, Wilson quickly fell out of favor. His subpar play forced Denver to bite the bullet, as the Broncos plan to release him as free agency begins. Even with a stain on his reputation, Wilson -- who recorded 26 TD passes and a 98.0 passer rating in 15 games last year -- would still be an upgrade over Kenny Pickett.

4. Gardner Minshew

Gardner Minshew is everything an NFL team wants in a backup quarterback. But if he came to Pittsburgh, it's hard to envision a scenario where he doesn't win the starting gig. Mishew did not put up gaudy numbers with Shane Steichen and the Colts last year, but he filled in admirably for the injured Anthony Richardson and was an alternate for the Pro Bowl this past season.

5. Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett might be the most slept on quarterback in this free agency cycle. Brissett has started in multiple seasons since entering the league back in 2016. While his career record of 18-30 is nothing to write home about, Brissett was put in some tough spots. Still, his career passer rating of 85.3 and 6.6 yards per attempt is more than we can say about Kenny Pickett.

6. Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill turns 36 years old by the start of NFL training camps and, coming off an injury, it's hard to imagine that there's a lot left in the tank. However, the positive we can note here is that he did see two very efficient seasons when Arthur Smith was his offensive coordinator in Tennessee. It just feels like Tannehill is going to end up backing up Pickett on the Steelers this year, and he could be inserted into the lineup if things go south.

7. Joe Flacco

A year ago, it would have been absurd to even entertain the idea of signing an aging Joe Flacco to the Steelers roster. Now the idea doesn't seem that farfetched. Flaco is coming off an impressive (and unexpected) late-season run with the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers are obviously very familiar with him, and he seems like a fit for Arthur Smith's offense. Even at 39 years old, this is something Pittsburgh should consider in free agency.

8. Joshua Dobbs

I've always been a big Josh Dobbs supporter. While consistency has always been an issue, Dobbs showed that he is capable of some incredible performances and giving the offense a spark on a moment's notice. It doesn't hurt that the aerospace engineer is always going to be the smartest guy in the room. A reunion in Pittsburgh should be welcomed.

9. Sam Darnold

As a former first-round pick, Sam Darnold's career has been a disappointment. However, the Steelers could do worse when it comes to a backup. Darnold at least has a huge arm and good traits to work with, as he flashes the upside at times. Even after six NFL seasons, he is still just 26 years old (which is the same age Pickett turns this offseason).

10. Mason Rudolph

I have Mason Rudolph low on my list of possible free-agent quarterback options simply because this doesn't make sense for either party. Rudolph is going to want a fresh start on a team where he can be a true number two quarterback -- something Pittsburgh didn't even grant him until late in the 2023 season when all other options failed. From Pittsburgh's perspective, they can't risk bringing back a player who had some players on offense endorsing him over Pickett by the end of the season. Rudolph is solid, but this no longer feels like a fit.