Steelers not looking to bring on a veteran quarterback to be their starter: reports

Steelers not looking to bring on a veteran quarterback to be their starter: reports originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

When the Steelers hired former Falcons head coach Arthur Smith to be their offensive coordinator, they closed the door on a potential trade for Justin Fields to satiate their quarterback needs.

But if any sliver of a chance still existed for Fields to head to Pittsburgh, a recent report locked the door.

"In any event, the Steelers are not interested in bringing in a quarterback who wants to be a starter," Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote. "That would include Justin Fields and Kirk Cousins, and probably even Russell Wilson, who has a connection with the Steelers. They are committed to giving [Kenny] Pickett a third season to see if he is the guy to do more than just win a playoff game — something they haven’t done in a franchise-record seven years."

And if Pickett, who threw for just over 2,000 yards in 12 games last season, doesn't succeed, the Steelers are still open to looking internally. It doesn't appear the Steelers are open to any veteran quarterback, nonetheless trading versus signing one.

"There appears to be some internal division that maybe Mason Rudolph should be the starter after the way he finished the 2023 season, winning the final three regular-season games to gain entry to the playoffs."

All of this is to say the Steelers will most certainly not be calling up Ryan Poles to bargain over Fields' services. If the Bears opt to trade Fields then, who remains as a possible suitor for the fourth-year signal caller?

There's the Falcons, who just hired Raheem Morris as their head coach and Zac Robinson as the team's new offensive coordinator. Recently, general manager Terry Fontenot was asked about the odds players who the Falcons previously passed on (Fields in the 2021 NFL draft) and their chances of getting a second look.

"You evaluate players at every point in their careers," Fontenot told NFL Network. "And that's why it's so critical as we go through free agency, and again, possible trades, we're evaluating every player. You're never going to look at a report from last year or the year before. We're going to look at the evolutions of the players.

"Yes, to answer your question, we have to be detailed and evaluate players in every phase."

Along with the Falcons, the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and others exist as suitors for Fields. Heck, some suggest he'd be a strong fit in Philadelphia with the Eagles, backing up the likes of Jalen Hurts, who has a similar playing style as Fields.

If the Bears want to maximize Fields' trade value, they will have to act soon on a trade. The new league year, and free agency, are rapidly approaching at the beginning of March. Once free agency commences, teams will likely be more inclined to sign a quarterback than trade for one.

Where will Fields end up if he's traded? It won't be Pittsburgh, that's nearly a certainty at this juncture.

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