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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2024 5:46 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 11, 2024 5:46 am

The NFL, you quite literally never go away | Russell Wilson is headed to the Pittsburgh Steelers | What does this mean for the future of Kenny Pickett?


Old Man Winter here. If I had it my way, it would stay winter all year long. Short days, wind chill, black ice, and a good polar vortex.

Heaven! Wait, is it getting warm in here? Your cold snap is over, Old Man Winter. Spring has arrived.

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Call 562-314-4603 for details. When the whole family comes together to watch the game, nobody wants to miss a second of the action to run to the grocery store. With Instacart, you can get all your weekly groceries in as fast as an hour. Less time shopping means more game time. Let's go. Visit to get free delivery on your first three orders.

Offer valid for a limited time, $10 minimum per order. Additional terms apply. We are already hot and heavy into the NFL legal tampering. The case of the biggest quarterback domino to drop so far. He had a head start.

He and his reps had a head start. And if you haven't heard the news, Russell Wilson is headed to Pittsburgh in 2024. You guys, there's a Russell Wilson hype video. Producer Jay will share it from our show Twitter.

After our CBS, it did not take long at all. A hype video as Russ is booted from the Mile High City, even though he tried to tell us his house was not up for sale. And then he clarified not on the market.

My house ain't for sale. He goes from Denver to Pittsburgh. And if you're the Steelers, why not take a flyer on Russ?

That's my reaction. You're getting him for the league minimum. This is a team friendly deal. Oh, but just to clarify, the team that it's friendly to, the Steelers, not the Broncos, who are still paying a ton of money. For Russell Wilson to play for a competitor. Now, granted, you look at what the Broncos have done over the last couple of days.

It's going to get worse before it gets better in Denver. There's no such thing as a quarterback contract, as rich as this one, getting signed and then getting dumped without a stiff and severe penalty. Here's what you need to know about a dead cap salary hit or. Russell Wilson's deal in particular, which is costing a team more in cap space than any other contract in NFL history, nearly 50 million dollars under the cap. The next two seasons that they can't spend. Because of the deal they gave Russ before he ever played a snap that counted in Denver.

Let it be a cautionary tale. And so the Broncos are divesting themselves of any attractive piece they have. Because they got to fit under the cap. And that means they're paying for Russell Wilson to play for an AFC competitor. Oh, that is got to hurt in the Broncos front office as much as you're thrilled. That you can start fresh. It's going to be a while. Before you can climb out from underneath these bad decisions. But that is a benefit to the Steelers.

If it doesn't work out, whoopty doo or as Freddie Kitchen said to us, whoopty hell. It doesn't matter because they're paying him almost nothing. So that's the breaking news. Nine time Pro Bowl quarterback, former Super Bowl champ. Russell Wilson has a new home. And the reason the Steelers could jump the gun is because the Broncos wanted the steal. Well, wanted the Wilson camp to do the work. Wanted the Steelers and the Giants and any other team to be able to meet with him right away. So that he could find a home right away. So that maybe they could get some relief. Except all their get any smart team out there was only going to sign him for the league minimum because he's getting paid either way.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS porch radio. Russell Wilson to the Steelers on Denver's dime. Kirk Cousins will test free agency. Baker Mayfield stays put and gets a handsome payday. Chris Jones cashes in after he played his contract dispute with the Chiefs the right way. Return for not only an all pro season, but of a ten and a half sacks to his credit. He spearheaded the defense. And now he gets ninety five million dollars paid out over the next three years that are fully and I mean one hundred percent fully guaranteed. Good for him. Remember how he was holding out at the start of last season, but he bought a suite at Arrowhead Stadium so he could be there for his teammates and watch them play and support them. His beef wasn't with them.

His beef was with the contract offer. So Chris Jones gets paid. This is just the beginning. There's so much intrigue over the next few days as much as I love March Madness and conference tournaments on the women's side are wrapping up the mid majors on the men's side. They are sending teams to the NCAA tournament with the automatic bids and then of course the power conferences will start their conference tournaments in the next couple of days.

You get wall to wall basketball all week long. But and I don't know if the NFL did this on purpose. Maybe maybe the NFL wanted its own version of March Madness. You do remember that when the league expanded to 18 weeks and 17 games, the schedule got pushed back, which meant that it impacted March Madness. A few years ago, Tom Brady retired the very same night as Selection Sunday.

Now he came back again, but still we talked about it. This time last year, same thing, NFL legal tampering and free agency, the start of the league year. That was all happening the same week as March Madness. And when the NFL expands to 18 games, because it will 18 games, maybe 19, maybe 20 weeks, the schedule will be pushed back even farther. Watch pretty soon.

NFL's legal tampering will happen at the same week as the Masters. Thanks so much for joining us. I hope that you had a great weekend. The hubs and I actually didn't know it at the time, but we spent our Saturday movie night watching the Oscar winner for Best Picture, Oppenheimer. Well worth the three hour investment. Oh, and the two bags of popcorn that we combined together.

So good. We had the largest bowl in the history of kitchens with our two bags of popcorn. Not one.

That's not enough. Two bags of popcorn. It's time to have some fun, right? We combined his boring skinny pop with my extra butter popcorn.

Delicious. So Oppenheimer wins Best Picture, Kellyanne Murphy wins Best Actor and Robert Downey Jr., who at first I did not recognize. Same thing with Josh Hartnett, actually took me a minute to recognize the two of them. Such an incredible cast. Matt Damon, Matt Modine, I highly recommend Oppenheimer. And I actually think I need to watch it again just to kind of keep track of all the characters and the varying time periods that are interspersed together.

That's all I'm going to say. It won cinematography. It won Best, was it Best Director for Christopher Nolan. It won the most Oscars just a few hours ago and I feel accomplished in a way that I saw it before it came out.

That's not generally the case. I saw it before the Oscars were awarded. Hope that you enjoyed your weekend with something far more exciting than that. Also training for a half marathon, so I am sorer than sore. But it's coming in just over two weeks. Yeah, just over two weeks, so I got to be ready.

You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio. We're just getting started. We've got college basketball on the brain, of course.

Little US women's soccer in the gold cup final against Brazil. Baseball that we can mix in almost as a seasoning if you're into food, if you're a foodie. And then NFL with QB questions on tap and more and more answers coming in. Our guest at the top of next hour will join us from Chicago. We confirm with Matt Verderam of Sports Illustrated that his phone is always on, except for maybe three hours in the early, early wee stages of the morning. So we're going to get him before he turns his phone off. So yeah, he's monitoring the news just as we are and we'll talk to him coming up.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. I'd love to know your reaction to Russell Wilson, to Kirk Cousins' testing free agency. He told the Vikings on Sunday that he would do just that. And to Baker Mayfield. These are your three big available veteran quarterbacks.

I wouldn't call it the big three or the triumvirate, the holy trinity by any stretch of the imagination, but these are the three most available, well, three most attractive available quarterbacks and two have already made their decisions. Yes, still Ryan Tannehill. Yes, still Jacoby Bressett. There are other QBs out there. Jimmy Garoppolo, though he will have to serve the two game suspension to start next season if the Raiders let him go. Mac Jones just got traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars. I wouldn't say he was one of the most attractive available, but he does find a new home and actually it's home home for Mac because he's from Jacksonville. So what's your reaction? Russ to Pittsburgh.

How do you like it? He intends to sign a one year deal. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on our Facebook page as well as on Twitter and did throw up a tweet a few hours ago about what's in store this week. It's going to be pretend nutty. Pretty excited, though. As you hear, we're talking about NFL free agency in the new league year. Tons of QB news, college hoops tournaments.

The selection show is one week from tonight. We'll have a new vid on. That's what the cool kids call it. We'll have a new vid. Actually, that's what Jay calls it on YouTube before the end of the week. We've promised.

And actually, I'm almost done with a new blog post, including photos from my own personal collection. That will be in the next 24 hours to try to infuse something different into your NFL timeline. Plus our laughs and the general goofiness always. So you know that we're never going to talk straight sport because that's boring. Although on NFL Sunday nights, we do tend to stick more to the middle of the road, straight down the line.

Don't vary or color inside the lines. If you want a fourth and fifth grade analogy. Funny. I was teaching my kiddos on Sunday morning and one of the little girls, this is before we even started class. They were just hanging out, playing, drawing, running around the gym. And one of the little girls who's generally very chipper and cheerful and comes running up to me almost every Sunday morning to give me a hug. Her name is Mona. She was barely upright. This is a fifth grader.

Got her. She's sitting at a table. She's got her a hoodie over her head. She's got her head resting in her hand.

Now, I know the time change did affect the kids because they were really quiet this morning. But I said to her, Mona, what's up? You look pretty sleepy. Miss Amy, do you see these huge puffy bags under my eyes? You're in fifth grade. You're 10. You have no bags under your eyes. Knock it off. I didn't say that. I did commiserate with her because heaven knows I always have bags under my eyes. They give me away every time.

I hope that with the time change, you were able to get a Sunday nap and you don't have bags under your eyes. So let's get started. Russell Wilson. That's the big domino and the breaking news just happening in the last couple hours. Jay, I feel as though we need to play the hype video for the peeps, even though you can't see it. You can check out our show Twitter for that after our CBS. Jay will throw it up there.

But just the music alone from Russell Wilson's brand new hype video that you got to believe they had at least put together the skeleton, the framework of this production, because it dropped within minutes of the news breaking. Oh, mama, I'm in fear for my life from the long arm of the law. Lawman is put an end to my running and I'm so far from my home.

Complete with terrible towels. Oh, mama, I can hear you crying. You're so scared and all alone.

Hangman is coming down from the gallows and I don't have. Yo, next round is about to start. You ready? Yeah, yeah. Just shopping for a car in Carvana. For real?

Yeah, Carvana makes it super convenient to shop whenever, wherever. For real? That's a ton of car options. Yep, and these are all within my price range. For really real? You can afford that?

Yeah, with Carvana. And boom, just like that, I'm getting it delivered in a couple days. For really, really real? You just bought a car. For real and you just lost, my turn.

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Well, that was pretty morbid and macabre at the beginning, but boy did it pick up. Yes, Wilson is heading to Pittsburgh, Steelers fans. I'd love to hear from you on Twitter, A-Law Radio. So Russell Wilson finds a new home. Baker Mayfield finds a new deal, but he stays home. One year after betting on himself and really taking the best offer that he could to be a starting quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then leading them all the way to the playoffs, Baker Mayfield has agreed to terms on a three-year, $100 million contract.

My understanding is this could be worth a max value of $115 million, $50 million in total guarantees, $40 million fully guaranteed. You know, Tampa has done so much good work over the last couple of days keeping their own guys at home. Obviously, they locked up Mike Evans. Antoine Winfield is on the franchise tag to hope to get a long-term deal done with him. And now Baker Mayfield, he had options, no doubt about it. This one seemed like the right move for both sides here.

Ian Rappaport on NFL Network. I was pretty confident Baker would remain in Tampa. Number one, they were motivated to bring him back.

Number two, he found a new home there. He had career numbers. Last season with the Buccaneers, Mike Evans had already re-signed, and I liked the rapport they had initially.

Granted, there is a lot to do still. I'm not telling you that that offense is going to set the world on fire. It did not last season, and Dave Canales has moved on to the Carolina Panthers.

But I like the energy and the intensity. I like the fact that they made the playoffs out of what is still a wide open NFC South. I like that Todd Bowles is a big fan. Bowles doesn't rave, but he will tell you anytime you ask what he likes most about Baker. Baker did a great job coming in. He eats with the defensive guys, the offensive guys.

He really does a great job of blending everybody together without actually saying it. I think that's very tough to do, but his personality on the field. We know he's tough and he's got Moxie and all those things, but I don't think people give him enough credit for being a true quarterback.

He's still back in the pocket and made some throws. He throws a great deep ball. He has a lot of velocity on the ball. He's very accurate when you give him time. He knows when to run to get the first downs.

You'd like him to slide a little bit more, but he knows when to run to get the first downs. He did a heck of a job for us and I was very proud of him. That's the longest you're ever going to hear Todd Bowles talk about anything. He's been raving about Baker since preseason last summer. Loves Baker Mayfield for his toughness, for his intensity, for his leadership. And yeah, for Baker to come in as, let's be honest, a humbled, not humble, humbled veteran. A guy who was bounced from Cleveland so they could go get Deshaun Watson, who's barely played since he got there, who then languished and waited like some kind of journeyman QB, not like a former overall number one pick and a Heisman Trophy winner QB, but had to wait and wait and wait until the Panthers were the only team that would take him, started for them against his former team, didn't last there either, got cut, found another home in L.A., and then got cut from there.

Well, the deal ran out. He wasn't expected to stay in L.A. and then follows in Tom Brady's footsteps, quote unquote, only to revive his career with a new perspective and a new humility, recognizing that nothing is ever for certain, nothing is ever given to you in the NFL. I like this version of Baker Mayfield. And as Ian tells you on NFL Total Access, he's making a lot of money the second act of Baker's career. So I'm glad he's staying in Tampa. I look forward to seeing what they'll do in the next year, two years with Baker. Really love the fact that Mike Evans is staying there as well.

But what's your reaction to Russ in a Steelers uniform with a terrible towels hype video? I'm telling you, it's out there and it dropped right away. 855-212-4227, we'll get your calls.

855-212-4CBS on Twitter, A Law Radio, also on our Facebook page. There's still a lot of questions to be answered. What about Kirk Cousins? What about Justin Fields? Any qualms with the Bears before they select Caleb Williams, number one overall? What do the commanders do? What about Mac Jones to the Jaguars?

Patriots drafted him number 15 overall. And the experiment is over. We've got lots of questions from Matt Verteram about 45 minutes from now.

But we'll continue navigating what we know until then. Plus Women's College Hoops on CBS on a Sunday afternoon. First time ever. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. I got more fire than ever, honestly, especially over the past two years of what I'm going through. Whether it's in Denver or somewhere else, I hope it's in Denver. I hope I get to finish there.

I committed there. I wanted to be there. I want to be there. For me, it's about winning. Over the next five years, I want to win, too. I want to feel the chill of that trophy again.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Narrator, it's not in Denver. Breaking news from the NFL.

It's going to happen a lot over the next couple days and nights, and we are here for it. Russell Wilson is signing a one-year deal. Just one year.

Similar to what Baker Mayfield did with the Bucks, right? Signing a one-year Proovit deal. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

And that's not a bird sound. That's actually cheap. Cheap for the Pittsburgh Steelers because the Broncos are picking up 95% of his salary, which has got to hurt. Oh, it's got to hurt. Honestly, I hope he has a resurgent season. The Steelers make the playoffs, and the Broncos had to pay for it. For the unwise choice they made to give him a deal before they ever saw him play in Denver.

And now they're actually paying for it, literally, but also figuratively. Russell Wilson to Pittsburgh. Tampa keeps Baker Mayfield.

Kirk Cousins will test free agency. The Patriots are now in the market for a quarterback, which we assume they would be. Mac Jones gets traded, well, will be traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round pick. They got him for a first-round pick, number 15 overall. They're trading him for a sixth-round pick. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. He needs some comfort food, although he's going home. Maybe mom's got some.

855-212-4227. First, let's get a reaction from Pittsburgh. Chris Mueller, who is a host on KDKA, reacts to Russell Wilson becoming the next Steelers veteran QB. I don't think Russell Wilson is a great quarterback anymore. I think on his best day, he's probably a good one.

On most days, he's probably around average to even below average at times. The guy doesn't throw the ball at an intermediate clip very well. He's a deep ball guy and a check-down guy, but he's still better than what the Steelers have.

I mean, that's kind of a sad commentary on where they've been in the quarterback wilderness now for the last two years. But Russ, if he's going to thrive, is going to do it in a run-heavy offense that insulates him, takes the ball out of his hands, and allows him to try to make some deep shots in play action. I think he can do that. Can he win the locker room? Who knows? If he's throwing touchdowns and winning games, I don't think people are going to be complaining about that.

Here's my question. Not about Kenny Pickett, though of course many people will jump to what happens with their young QB. My question is, what do they do about Mason Rudolph?

They really liked him. They'd indicated they want to bring him back. Is Mason going to have more attractive options, or is he content to re-sign with the Steelers to be a backup? Again, Russ only has a one-year deal. 8-5-5, 2-1-2, 4-2-2-7, Sam is in Birmingham.

Sam, what do you think? Amy, I think it's going to be definitely better than it was in Denver. I like the idea of Tomlin working with him as opposed to Peyton who just seemed like he was out to get him right when he walked in the door. I do think, though, when you were talking about Baker, man, Russell Wilson could really learn from Baker Mayfield with the way he humbled himself and he's gone in there and been such a great teammate. And Russell, the hype video, bad sign, if he could really learn from Baker, Russell's his own worst enemy as far as locker room stuff, you know? But I do think Tomlin will be a better, I guess, influence maybe for want of a better term coaching-wise than Peyton was, for sure. Yeah, I actually like that for Russell Wilson.

I think there can't be many more respected figures, many more respected coaches or voices in the NFL than Mike Tomlin. And how good that will be to help steady Russ, not to mention they want to be a run-heavy offense. Now, it didn't work out that way to start last season.

It was a bit of a mess. But Najee Harris really carried them late in the year, so as long as their offensive line is done going through its various transitions and iterations, then they could, in fact, focus on the run, which takes some of the pressure off Russ. And I agree with you.

I think Mike Tomlin will be a great influence and impact on him. Right, yeah. And I like the idea of them running and getting back to the type of offense that they are more used to running.

Like, boy, it was so bad last year. It'll be interesting to see how it goes. That's true. But it's on the Broncos' dime, so it's really not that much of a risk for the Steelers. Thank you, Sam.

Good to talk to you in Birmingham. Let's get to Larry in Pittsburgh before we get to our break. Larry, what's your reaction to Russell Wilson?

I like it personally. I mean, I don't think it could get much worse than last season. It was abysmal, just watching the game. You know, it's pretty bad when the Pirates are outscoring the Steelers, basically. So, you know, I think that, you know, with the defensive injuries we had to the interior of our defense as well, you know, it's kind of a miracle we still made the playoffs. You know, working with our ninth string linebackers inside. And I think another advantage is, you know, we're getting these guys pretty cheap, you know, whatever direction you want to look at. You know, even if you think Russell Wilson's long in the tooth, which I agree, you know, I can see how that argument could be made, they're still coming on the cheap. You know, we're talking under $5 million for, like, our whole quarterback staff versus the Right. No balls making a gazillion dollars a year, Lamar Jackson, and I'm not even going to get into Deshaun Watson, you know?

Yeah. They have less wiggle room, you would think, salary-wise, to add depth, you know, to account for any injuries that occur. Like, if we do this thing right, you know, do the right transactions and smart about how we approach this offseason, you know, we could be in a much better position from a depth standpoint than, I'd say, from a salary standpoint. Would you try to get Mason Rudolph back on the staff? I'm not sure if he wants to be behind Russell Wilson, though he's certainly botted his time before in Pittsburgh, and it's comfortable.

Would you go after him? You know, it's based on some of the locker room dynamics. It seems like, you know, it's kind of like an either-or with Kenny Pickett, and just based on all the talk, you know, they're still kind of loyal to Kenny Pickett. I think that would be a locker room disaster, especially when you're adding Wilson to the mix as well. You know, I wouldn't like to have Rudolph, you know, I think he should have got a shot before, like, Mr. Vicky and some of these other people, but hindsight, 20-20, you know, but I think it's just going to appear. I don't know what's in that for him, why he would even want to come back.

Exactly, yeah. Especially with there being other teams that, while they would like to get a young quarterback in the draft, they may not be able to, and so Mason Rudolph could have a chance to start, which would be great for him. And from what I understand, the Patriots have an opening, I mean, you know, it goes somewhere like that, you never know. That's true, although they picked number three overall, they could end up picking a rookie. Well, yeah, they're going to get someone, but, you know what I mean, it's, I heard the show earlier, they were talking about rookie quarterbacks that don't have anything around them physically fell. Mmm, Bryce Young, Bryce Young.

They do, they do, there are some pretty bad teams, at least on paper, as we sit here at the beginning of March. All right, Larry, good to talk to you in Pittsburgh, thanks so much for your phone call. 855-212-4227, we'll take more of your calls after the break. On Twitter, got this one, got to agree with Amy, well that's rare, why not take a flyer on Wilson at quarterback for 1.2 million, I'm not a picket fan, but worst we have is a, we, so Steelers fan, worst we have is a serviceable backup, definitely a benefit to the Steelers. All right, we will absolutely share your sentiments on social, Jay is putting up a post on our Twitter account after our CBS as well as our Facebook page. Let's see, another reaction comes from a Seahawks fan, let Russ Rot, did my Hawks dirty, he helped you win a Super Bowl and you went to another Super Bowl with Russell Wilson as your quarterback. That I don't get, I don't think he did the Hawks dirty, they got a lot for him in return, in fact enough that the Broncos are broken right now and the Seahawks are in a much better position. He goes on, thankfully did them a favor by letting them fleece Denver on his way out the door, burned his bridge with this Hawks fan. Interesting, well if you're listening X-Man and you want to elaborate on that, I'd love to understand why, I get that Russ has an acquired taste and there are a lot of rumors coming out from the locker room and all that jazz. But the thing is he gave them the best of himself, the best years of his career while he was in Seattle and he and Pete Carroll had a great relationship for most of the time. There was something to the fact that Pete Carroll was only so happy, Carroll and John Schneider, only so happy to let him go. They could see what many other teams could not, they knew, but he gave them everything he had while he was there, which meant a Super Bowl appearance and a Super Bowl ring. So I don't think I agree with that, he didn't fleece anyone. 855-212-4227 again on Facebook and Twitter taking your reactions to Russell Wilson in Steelers black and gold.

Plus Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins and Mac Jones and the start of legal tampering. Old Man Winter here, if I had it my way it would stay winter all year long, short days, wind chill, black ice and a good polar vortex, heaven. Wait is it getting warm in here? Your cold snap is over Old Man Winter, spring has arrived.

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That's T-E-C-O-V-A-S dot com and point your toes west. And we'll talk to Matt Verderam in Chicago at the top of the hour. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. I have full faith in Kenny. He's shown us some good things and obviously there were some issues with the offense and I'm excited about the impact that Arthur Smith is going to have on him. Arthur's very optimistic about Kenny. I know they've communicated and said we'll have some strong competition there and we'll see where it goes.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. The voice of Omar Khan, who's been with the Steelers a long time, but recently promoted to general manager 2022 Kenny Pickett is definitely on his watch and will remain a stealer. That's from the combine on Steelers YouTube, I believe.

But he likely will not be the starter unless it goes from bad to worse for Russell Wilson in 2024. Good news is it's cheap. I have the NFL Network on in my studio and I look up as I walk back in. I was doing some production in a side studio. I walk back in and Ben Roethlisberger is doing an interview on NFL Network. Now it's not live. This is from a package, some feature documentary that NFL Network is rolling right now.

But it is funny that Ben Roethlisberger is taunting the Steelers from beyond, not the grave, not that beyond. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on Twitter, ALawRadio on our Facebook page. After Hours with Amy Lawrence, a YouTube channel as well. We'll have a new vid that drops midweek. But what is your reaction to Russ in black and gold?

Good, bad, indifferent, ugly? How will it work? And then you've got Kirk Cousins who will test free agency, Baker Mayfield. What about Justin Fields? Oh, so many questions that will be answered, at least theoretically, in the next couple days. Let's go back to our phones. Nicole is listening in Maryland. Nicole, what do you think about Russ to Pittsburgh?

Hi. I think it's a great deal. I think that Russell Wilson is absolutely an elite quarterback to me. I think that, you know, the idea that Mike Tomlin saw in him something that Sean Payton refused to see is evident. I think that Sean Payton came in with an agenda and refused to work with Russell in the way that I think that Mike Tomlin can. I think that he is a professional players coach, Mike Tomlin is, and I think that Russell Wilson is a constant professional who can work with just about anybody. And so I think that this would be a great deal. I also believe that the idea that Russell was doing well for Denver before Sean Payton decided to bench him, that I think he had won like four or five games for them.

And then after that, what's his name? Sean Payton decided to bench him, which really didn't make any sense. I don't think it made sense for him to try to make this player look bad, which it appeared to be to me. And thereby made Denver Broncos have to pay a boatload of money, which maybe they wouldn't have had to do if he had just accentuated Russell's talent. Maybe the team vying for him would have offered like draft picks or something for Denver in the future, as opposed to making him having to pay all that money and then not get anything else in return. Well, Nicole, I agree with you about Sean Payton.

He definitely had an agenda and he's got a huge ego, so it was going to be his way or no way. And the whole thing about them asking Russ to change the language in his contract and threatening to bench him was just wrong. That's bad business and I'm glad the Broncos got exposed. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. How often do we hear people say, oh, the players signed that contract.

Why is he holding out? Well, the Broncos, they signed a contract as well. And there's no reason why Russ should have had to change the language to give them a break. They are paying royally for it. I mean, they are going to suffer mightily even with the increased cap.

And so I agree with you that they completely mishandled it. Now, I don't know what Russ has left and we will see. But I do like the fact that Mike Tomlin is a big believer in reclamation projects, right? He's also a believer in character. And as you say, he allows guys to be who they are. They need a bridge.

They need a gap. And he's not afraid of Russ. I love that Mike Tomlin's fearless and is not afraid to try this. And to me, it makes a ton of sense because he's cheap.

In fact, they're getting him nearly free, according to QB standards. And Russell, the idea that, again, Mike Tomlin saw him for who he is. Mike Tomlin is not going to just accept any player. He wants to win just like Russell wants to win.

And I think that he's able to pull from players what good coaches are. And like I said, there are a bunch of people who are angry with Russell because they felt like he got too many perks going into Denver. But what they need to remember is that anybody who goes for a job interview will ask for perks and, you know, the best of the best.

It's up to the employer to determine what they're willing to give you. And if they signed off on all those perks, then they should be angry with the owners. They should not be angry with Russell because he did what most people did. Well, I don't know that that's the case for most people, but a lot of quarterbacks and high-profile athletes certainly do that. But you're right about the team.

If they let him have those things, they shouldn't come around and lambaste them. Good points, Nicole. Thank you so much for your phone call. I appreciate it.

You're welcome. Bye-bye. 855-212-4227. Let's work in one more here.

Randy's in Pennsylvania. Randy, what do you think about Russ in black and gold? Hey, how you doing tonight, Amy? Good. Thank you. I think it's a really, really good move.

I really do. And it's going to be a spark for the Steelers. And if you realize that he's on Denver and he played with Denver and he had 28 touchdown passes and I think eight takes. And that was a terrible offensive line. We got a terrible offensive line, but we'll make it better for him. I would agree with you about them not having a whole lot around Russ in terms of protection. I think he was sacked 100 times roughly in the two years in Denver, so that's a big deal.

Any less pounding and he would be more effective. I know that the Steelers don't want to lag on running the ball to start this season. They'd like to kind of pick up where they left off. They have a great defense, which means they don't, theoretically, don't need a ton of points. I mean, think about how Cleveland made the playoffs last year, though they certainly will need some offense at times. And I really like the fact that he is a no risk option. Whether they need some more time to decide on Kenny Pickett, whether they end up trying to make this move, make a bigger move at quarterback, you know, a draft pick or something of the sort in 2025. But right now he's no risk and he helps to get them where they want to go and gives them a shot, I think, at competing in the AFC.

Yes, I really agree. And the AFC is rough. You guys know that. AFC North is the best division of football. It absolutely is.

And we saw that this year. And I really appreciate you taking my call. And I welcome Russ to Pittsburgh, the bird, because he's going to like it here. All right. Good, Randy. Thank you so much for your reaction. Thank you.

855-212-4227. Couple of your tweets, ALawRadio. I'm a Browns fan from Cleveland. I believe Mason Rudolph would be great. No knock on Mason.

He displaced Pickett and Trubisky. The Steelers have always been a, I think you mean stable franchise. So I would be surprised if Mason Rudolph made the Steelers his first choice now, because I think he'd probably like the chance to start playing off of what happened at the end of last season. But we'll see, right? We'll see whether or not he prefers to stay in Pittsburgh or if that happens to be the best contract. These days, how many backup quarterbacks get significant opportunities?

Mason was a backup to Trubisky, who was a backup to Pickett last year, and he still ended up starting at the end of the season. So what's your reaction? We will ask Matt Verteran in Chicago coming up next.

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