Steelers Insider Turns Heads With QB Justin Fields Argument - Sport News

Steelers Insider Turns Heads With QB Justin Fields Argument

It’s difficult to find a national NFL analyst who hasn’t proposed the idea that the Pittsburgh Steelers should trade for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields this offseason. But local Steelers insiders such as The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac have been more neutral to the idea.

Justin Fields

On February 28, Dulac crossed over onto the side against the Steelers potentially trading for Fields. Dulac cited the team’s faith in Kenny Pickett, the desire to re-sign Mason Rudolph and Fields’ win-loss record as three reasons why a trade for Fields doesn’t make sense for Pittsburgh.

That argument received a lot of reaction on social media.

“2 of the 3 reasons are about Kenny and Mason,” p_roo20 wrote on X with laughing emojis. “They’re the reason the Steelers need a higher ceiling option at QB.”

Quite a few X users agreed, taking exception with Pickett and Rudolph being reasons the Steelers shouldn’t target Fields in a blockbuster trade.

“No offense but those are lousy reasons,” Johnny Utah wrote. “[Fields] might not be the answer, but it’s only 2-year commitment, and the other 2 ain’t it.”

Sean Segers added that, “Pickett is clearly not the answer.” He also argued that the Steelers won’t need Rudolph if they trade for Fields.

“Fiels is clearly more talented than anyone they’ve had since Ben’s penultimate season,” wrote Segers.

Another Reason a Justin Fields Trade Doesn’t Make Sense for Steelers

A lot of Steelers fans will disagree with Dulac’s top two reasons for the Steelers not to trade for Fields. But based on what the Steelers have said publicly about their quarterbacks this offseason, it’s very reasonable to believe that they don’t want to give up on Pickett and desire to re-sign Rudolph.

Team president Art Rooney II said as much during his press briefing on January 29.

“We still feel good about Kenny Pickett and his future but he knows he has to work hard to take the next step,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said on January 29, via Steelers.com’s Bob Labriola.

“Mason Rudolph came in and showed what we’re capable of when we do get quality QB play … and we’re interested in bringing Mason back.”

On February 6, Rooney said the organization is “not closing the door on anything” when asked about the possibility of trading for a quarterback. However, a day later, Rooney clarified that a blockbuster trade for a big-named signal caller was “unlikely.”

There’s another obvious reason the Steelers aren’t a great fit for Fields — money.

Fields will have just a $6 million cap hit in 2024, but his team will have to decide by May whether to pick up his fifth-year option.

If it costs the Steelers a second-round pick and additional draft capital to acquire Fields, they will have to pick up his fifth-year option to make him a worthwhile investment.

That means the Steelers will be agreeing to pay Fields more than $25 million total for the 2024 and 2025 seasons before he ever appears in a black and gold jersey.

Fields Provides High Upside Behind Center

There’s plenty of reasons to argue a Fields trade is not a fit for the Steelers. But really, a reason to trade for him could outweigh all of them — Fields’ upside.

NFL teams move heaven and earth to land franchise quarterbacks nowadays. That’s because it’s very difficult to win in the league without them.

If the Steelers believe Fields is a future franchise quarterback with more upside than Pickett, then it shouldn’t matter the cost to acquire him. Possessing a cornerstone behind center is priceless.

The question, though, is whether the Steelers believe that about Fields or don’t think it about Pickett. At the very least, the latter does not appear to be the case.

Fields is tremendously athletic. He has thrown 40 touchdowns while averaging 7 yards per pass. He’s also posted 6.2 yards per carry and 14 rushing scores in 40 NFL contests.

But he is 10-28 as a starter.

“Like Mitch Trubisky, Fields is damaged good,” John Babjak wrote on X. “They come from a team that knows how to lose.”

Pickett has thrown just 13 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and a 6.3 yards per attempt average in 25 NFL games. But he is 14-10 as a starter.

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