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Najee Harris Declines Interviews, Sits Out at Minicamp

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris declined interview requests and did not practice at the team’s minicamp.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris during OTAs at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on June 4, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris declined interview requests while at the team’s mandatory minicamp and did not participate in any of the three practices over the week. Harris said he would talk with the media at training camp next month. He has not spoken to the media since the end of the season when he spoke after their loss to the Buffalo Bills.

The team declined Harris’s fifth-year option in May. Appearing on 93.7 the Fan on Thursday, Khan said that just because they declined his fifth-year option does not mean that they would not extend Harris in the future.

“It was a business decision we had to make….just because we didn’t pick it up doesn’t exclude us from doing something with Najee,” Khan said.

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris during OTAs at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on May 28, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers expect Najee Harris to be a huge part of the offense under offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. Smith said there should be plenty of carries for Harris and Jaylen Warren. When asked about Harris’ lack of inclusion on Wednesday, Mike Tomlin downplayed the concern on that front.

“Not anything that’s going to be an issue regarding health. You guys know my approach man, Cam Heyward didn’t take any snaps today either, is another example of it. I know a lot about some of those guys. I know less about some of these others. And so, I like to focus my energies on those that are working and not those that are moving out of the way at times to see others,” Tomlin said.

How the contract situation develops over the next few months is anyone’s guess. Harris’ press conference at training camp will be one that is highly anticipated given the questions surrounding his future with the team, especially at such a perilous position such as running back.