Steelers GM Undecided on Former 1st Rounder’s Future

pittsburgh steelers

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan hasn't made a decision on Najee Harris' fifth-year option

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of important decisions to make on the offensive side of the ball during the 2024 NFL offseason.

They have questions at the quarterback position, need help at multiple spots on their offensive line, and could even be looking for a WR3.

With all of that to figure out, a decision on Najee Harris’ future could be a bit far down the list of priorities for the team.

During his press conference at the NFL Combine, Steelers general manager Omar Khan said that the team hasn’t made a decision on whether they’re going to pick up the fifth-year option on Harris’ rookie deal.

“We have until the first week in May to make a decision,” Khan said via “We have a new offensive coordinator, so that’s gonna play into the decision-making process. We’re having conversations with Arthur. It’s been great. We’ve been engaging frequently — coach Tomlin and Arthur and I — we’ve kind of been talking about the offense and what the vision is for it. And we think very highly of Najee and we’ll make the decision before May 2.”

Not the Star the Steelers Were Hoping for

When the Steelers spent a first-round pick on Harris and made him the first running back off the board in 2021, they did so with the expectation that he’d be their next star at the position.

He hasn’t quite turned into that star.

Harris hasn’t been a particularly efficient option for the Steelers so far in his career. He has averaged less than 4 yards per carry in two of his three seasons with the team.

However, he has still managed to get over 1000 rushing yards in each of his three NFL seasons.

This past season was his most efficient yet. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 2023 and also reached a career high with 8 touchdowns.

He did this despite the team’s struggles on the offensive line and competition for carries from Jaylen Warren.

Now the team has to decide if that’s enough to convince them that he should be leading a run game that is going to be the focal point of the team’s offense going forward.

Plenty of Opportunities for Najee Harris in 2024

There are plenty of questions about what the Steelers’ offense is going to look like during the 2024 season.

One thing that currently isn’t in doubt is that they are going to run the ball a lot next season.

They hired Arthur Smith as their offensive coordinator this offseason and plenty of rushing attempts is something you know is coming when you hire Smith.

He spent two seasons as the OC for the Titans and in those two years the team’s running backs averaged more than 400 rushing attempts per season.

Smith kept up his run-heavy ways in three years as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

The team ran the ball more than 400 times in two of three seasons despite not having a clear RB1 in his first two seasons.

With him running the Steelers’ offense, there should be plenty of opportunities for the team’s running backs in 2024.

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