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Justin Fields Could Follow Baker Mayfield Path, Analyst Says

An analyst believes that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields could take the Baker Mayfield path with the team.

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Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields during minicamp on June 11, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Justin Fields might be on his second team after the Chicago Bears traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers and decided to draft Caleb Williams, but that does not mean all is dead for Fields. While many quarterbacks who flame out in their first spot do not find success, others are more late-career bloomers. The most recent examples include Geno Smith, Baker Mayfield, and Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill revitalized his career after an unsuccessful start with the Miami Dolphins, becoming a longtime starter with the Tennessee Titans under Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Geno Smith, meanwhile, waited nearly a decade after his first opportunity to show what he could do with the Seahawks after the team moved on from Russell Wilson. Mayfield got a second chance after bouncing around to three teams, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers rewarded him with a new contract. Others, such as Jared Goff, have seen themselves shipped off to other places but are not thriving. NFL.com’s Tom Blair believes that Justin Fields could follow this path.

Justin Fields

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields at the team’s OTAs, June 4, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“Fields is at a career crossroads basically because he is not a clear-cut generational talent, and Chicago had an opportunity to draft someone who could be,” Blair wrote. “The Bears are moving on with Caleb Williams, and more power to them. There still appears to be, uh, ‘meat left on that bone’ in terms of what the dynamic Fields can offer, though, and I wouldn’t mind seeing another QB castoff follow the Baker Mayfield trajectory (formerly known as the Ryan Tannehill trajectory?) by re-establishing himself as a viable starter.”

That’s not the road that most quarterbacks want to take, but it’s a road that is more frequently traveled than you might think. The Steelers almost have two of those guys on the roster, as Wilson is looking to rebound from an underwhelming stint with the Denver Broncos following a huge trade with the Seahawks.

While Wilson reached Super Bowl heights in Seattle, the decline in his play leaves something for him to prove. Fields, of course, is looking to capture the physical upside that he displays. There are several factors to this, but all of those players ended up in nurturing environments catering to their strengths. Fields will hope to see the Steelers organization as being in the same vein so he can revitalize his career, even if it takes time to earn the starting job.