Report: Steelers decline Justin Fields fifth-year option

Report: Steelers decline Justin Fields fifth-year option originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not expected to pick up Justin Fields’ fifth-year option, according to Adam Schefter. That means Fields is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season.

The news isn’t surprising, since Fields was due to make just over $25 million on the tag. That’s a lot of money for a quarterback projected to be a backup this season.

The Bears traded Fields to the Steelers for a 2025 sixth-round pick that can become a 2025 fourth-round pick if he meets certain playing time thresholds in Pittsburgh. The Steelers also signed Russell Wilson to a reported league-minimum $1.2 million deal this offseason, and it will be Wilson who has the inside track to win the starting job.

There was lots of talk about a robust trade market for Fields this offseason, with several teams in need of a new quarterback. That market never materialized however, as teams opted for other QBs. Kirk Cousins landed with the Falcons, Sam Darnold went to Minnesota, Sam Howell ended up in Seattle and Gardner Minshew left for Las Vegas all before Fields found his new home, just to name a few.

Now Fields will be on a career reclamation program in Pittsburgh. There’s still a chance that Fields wins the starting job for the Steelers– or takes over at some point during the regular season. If so, it will be his chance to show he can still develop into a reliable quarterback who’s worthy of another opportunity to start in 2025 and beyond.

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