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NFL Rumor: Steelers have ‘legitimate interest' in Justin Fields

The Steelers have “legitimate interest” in acquiring Bears quarterback Justin Fields, according to a new report from Steelers Now.

Pittsburgh had talks or preliminary interest in a potential Fields trade dating back to the NFL Combine, but the price was too high,” Nick Farabaugh reported. “But after the trade for Pickett, there is still interest in Fields. While sources stressed to Steelers Now that the deal is not imminent, there is legitimate interest from Pittsburgh to explore a deal and potentially acquire Fields.”

Recently, ESPN reported the Eagles were in discussions with the Bears about Fields before trading for Kenny Pickett on Friday. Similarly, the Eagles balked at the high price set for Fields, shifting their interest to Pickett.

But with Pickett now in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh is seen as an ideal landing spot for Fields. They signed Russell Wilson this offseason, but his one-year deal opens the door for Fields to be the bridge quarterback, should Wilson not work out.

Fields has one more season left on his rookie contract. Any team that acquires him would have to decide whether or not to exercise his fifth-year option (by May). But, in the Steelers’ case, they could leave it undecided until they determine next season if they want him to come back. If not, they could trade him.

Initially, general manager Ryan Poles told the media during the NFL Combine he hoped to “do right by” Fields. The idea was to find a new home for Fields by the opening of NFL free agency on March 13.

That hasn’t happened. And with virtually zero starting quarterback spots open around the league, the Bears are left at a crossroads with Fields. That leaves them with one of two options, it appears.

The Bears and Steelers can either try and find common ground on a trade as soon as possible. Or, if the Bears are steadfast on finding proper trade value for Fields, they could wait until the NFL draft to see if a team misses out on drafting a signal caller and sell them Fields.

MORE: Kenny Pickett trade could give Bears lifeline in search for Justin Fields trade partner

At this juncture, the expected results for the 2024 NFL draft are to see three quarterbacks go in the first three picks to the Bears, Commanders and Patriots. That’ll likely be Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels, barring any surprises.

After that, the Giants, Vikings, Raiders and possibly the Steelers and Seahawks could all be looking for quarterbacks. After the top three, it’s Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix as potential first-round quarterbacks.

The Bears could play the waiting game, looking out for teams who miss on a signal caller in the draft. Then they could shop Fields and hope his price increases based on the demand for quarterbacks.

At this point, it’s likely Fields will be a backup next season. But, where? Stay tuned.

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