NFL Media Reignite QB Trade Rumor After Steelers Deal Kenny Pickett

Kenny Pickett Justin Fields

Getty Several members of NFL media reconnected the Pittsburgh Steelers to quarterback Justin Fields after the team traded Kenny Pickett.

So much for a potential Kenny Pickett and Russell Wilson quarterback competition with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on March 15 that the Steelers agreed to send Pickett, along with the No. 120 overall pick in the fourth round, to the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 98 overall pick and two 2025 seventh-round selections.

Without Pickett, the Steelers are now back to having only one quarterback on the roster. Incredibly, that one signal caller is Wilson, and not any of the three quarterbacks the Steelers had on their active roster for the 2023 season.

With an obvious need for quarterback depth, NFL media restarted a popular rumor from early in the offseason — the Steelers could pursue a trade for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

“Justin Fields?” The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly asked on X (formerly Twitter) following the Pickett trade.’s Matt Lombardo and former Pro Bowl quarterback Robert Griffin III also suggested a Steelers-Fields trade could be back on.

“The Steelers’ blockbuster Kenny Pickett trade clears the way for Justin Fields to Pittsburgh,” Lombardo wrote on X. “Makes too much sense not to happen.”

“With Kenny Pickett being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, now the perfect spot for Justin Fields is in Pittsburgh if the Chicago Bears trade him,” tweeted Griffin.

The phrase “Fields to Pittsburgh” began trending on X within 30 minutes of the Pickett trade.

Could the Steelers Acquire QB Justin Fields After Trading Kenny Pickett?

Fields was the hottest quarterback name in the trade market throughout February. Ironically, NFL teams have traded for Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder and now Pickett during the first week of free agency but not Fields.

With that in mind, there are fewer potential landing spots for Fields than at any previous point this offseason. CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr referred to Fields’ trade market as “dwindling” on March 15.

“Whatever team Fields ends up with in 2024, he’s likely a No. 2 quarterback at this rate,” wrote Kerr.

The Pickett trade doesn’t change that fact. In Pittsburgh, Fields would very likely be the team’s No. 2 signal caller behind Wilson.

But Wilson is 35 years old and signed to a 1-year contract. The Steelers could trade for Fields and have him compete with Wilson as some analysts argued they would with Pickett.

If Fields fares well in competition or even beats out Wilson for the starting job, the Steelers could have their future behind center in Fields.

Other QB Options for the Steelers

While a Fields trade to Pittsburgh does make a lot of sense, there’s still questions to be answered before it could happen.

For one, if the Steelers acquired Fields, they’d have to decide by May 2 whether to pick up his fifth-year option for 2025. On that fifth-year option, Fields would cost $25.6 million.

The Steelers are unlikely to make that kind of commitment before any competition can take place.

Therefore, the trade compensation to land Fields would have to be low enough for the Steelers to acquire the quarterback without picking up the fifth-year option.

Although Fields’ trade market is low, it’s unclear if it’s that low.

It’s also worth wondering whether Wilson could grow upset if the Steelers traded for Fields as Pickett reportedly was when the team added Wilson. If Pittsburgh traded for Fields, the Steelers would pay him about twice as much as they have committed to Wilson in 2024.

However, the Steelers will have to find quarterback depth somehow. And there’s not a lot of appealing options still remaining in free agency.

Nine of the top 12 free agent quarterbacks this offseason, according to Pro Football Focus, have already signed with new teams.

Ryan Tannehill is the most experienced free agent signal caller remaining. Ironically, he entered the NFL the same season as Wilson.

That, though, might rule him out as a backup for the Steelers. With Wilson and Tannehill, Pittsburgh would have a pair of 35-year-old quarterbacks.

Jimmy Garoppolo is another experienced signal caller available, but he is suspended for the first two games of the 2024 season.

Tyler Huntley and Joshua Dobbs are two other notable free agent quarterbacks who remain unsigned.

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