SHOCKING NEWS: Pittsburg Steelers declined QB Justin Fields’ trade…

Why it makes sense that the Steelers declined QB Justin Fields’ fifth-year option.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Steelers are not expected to pick up the fifth-year option on quarterback Justin Fields, whom they acquired last month from the Bears for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick.

The news may come as a surprise to some as Pittsburgh does not have a quarterback under contract past the 2024 season, but here are three reasons why it makes sense for the team to decline it.

1. It’s too expensive.

Fields’ fifth-year option is expected to be worth about $25.66 million, per Over The Cap. That’s simply too much money for a player who has yet to prove he can be a franchise quarterback.

The No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft must first prove he can reach his full potential before earning that big of a payday. Although, head coach Mike Tomlin seems to believe he can help Fields develop into just that.

“Oh my god, man, he oozes talent and potential,” Tomlin told reporters. “There’s a lot of meat left on that bone and I’m excited about working on extracting it.”

2. A “Love”-like extension could be in play.

If the Steelers don’t want to risk losing Fields after just one season, however, they could still decide to extend him before the start of the season.

The NFL saw a similar scenario play out last offseason between the Packers and QB Jordan Love. Instead of exercising his fifth-year option, Green Bay signed Love to an incentive-laden one-year contract extension worth up to $22.5 million.

It would make a lot of sense for Pittsburgh to do something similar with Fields for the 2025 season since he is unlikely to see the field very much this year, barring Russell Wilson getting injured or playing very poorly.

3. It might be time for a prove-it year. 

The Steelers may also opt to see what they have in Fields before investing further..

Fields has flashed his upside, throwing for 4,804 yards and 33 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,800 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons. However, his 10-28 record as a starter proves he needs to learn how to play more consistently.

Luckily for Fields, he is still only 25 and will have an opportunity to do just that behind Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson, who’s done it for 12 years.

Only time will tell how much Fields will see the field this season, but he must take advantage of whatever opportunities he gets in what could be a prove-it year in Pittsburgh.


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