It has been a rough season for the historic Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite boasting a Super Bowl calliber defense, along with talented weapons in Dionte Johnson, George Pickens, and Pat Friermuth, plus an improved offensive line, the Steelers have struggled throughout the season.
After a strong start record-wise, Pittsburgh struggled towards the end of the year after second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett's ankle injury. Backup Mitch Trubisky struggled mightily as the Steelers season started to collapse.
It is one of the most well-known facts that the black and gold offense was one of the worst in the NFL this past season, which led to the long-awaited firing of Matt Canada. But the offense still struggled after and while Kenny Pickett has done what he needed to and rarely turns over the ball, he hasn't turned into the elite quarterback that Mike Tomlin hoped he would be.
This offseason is big for Omar Khan and the Steelers front office, as they need to decide if Pickett is their guy, or if they should look at other options in free agency. Pittsburgh could look to add Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in March. Cousins is set to be a unrestricted free agent, and if Minnesota decides to move on, he could be the solution in Pittsburgh.
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Could Kirk Cousins Be The Solution In Pittsburgh?
Although Cousins will be 36 at the start of next season, he still has plenty to give in his decorated career. Before his season-ending achilles injury, he threw for 2391 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games. But he was leading the MVP race before his injury, and he could boost the Pittsburgh offense looking for an identity.
In his last three full seasons, Cousins has thrown for 4200+ yards and 28+ touchdowns, which has not been done by a Steelers quarterback since Big Ben in 2020. He also won 13 games last season en route to an NFC North title as well. One of the biggest reasons for Cousin's lack of postseason success in recent years has been his defense, which has let him down time after time. Cousins would be happy with Mike Tomlin's defense, which has been one of the best units in the league since Tomlin took over a decade ago.
Pittsburgh Could Add Cousins' Former Coordinator
One of the top candidates for the Steelers' offensive coordinator jobs is San Francisco 49ers passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak. Kubiak was Cousins' offensive coordinator in 2021, and a reunion could help both sides. Kubiak has helped Brock Purdy be an MVP candidate and could boost Cousins again as well.
Although he was let go after head coach Mike Zimmer was fired, Kubiak helped Cousins throw for 4221 yards, 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 16 games, although the Vikings missed the postseason finishing 8-9. Klint Kubiak is the son of Broncos' Super Bowl winning coach Gary Kubiak.
What Would His Contract Look Like
Cousins signed a one-year contract worth 35 million with 25 million signing bonus. While that seems high for an aging quarterback, I'm willing to bet the Steelers could sign him for around 30 million, but that would take some contract restructuring to do, as they aren't projected to have a lot of cap space. But like most teams do, Omar Khan can make some magic and create some space to sign Cousins, and be a Super Bowl contender in 2024.
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