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Louis Riddick: Justin Fields is Better Option Than Kenny Pickett

Louis Riddick believes that Justin Fields is a far better option for the Steelers at QB than Kenny Pickett in 2024.



Pittsburgh Steelers Bears QB Justin Fields
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) plays against the Atlanta Falcons during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

The Pittsburgh Steelers could, theoretically, decide to trade for Justin Fields and push Kenny Pickett to the side. While public comments have not pointed in that direction, experts continue to talk about the fit between Pittsburgh and Fields, and most like it. That includes Louis Riddick from ESPN, who went to Pitt and has seen Pickett grow up the entire way. He thinks that if they can do it, they must get Fields.

“I don’t want to ever put anyone in front of my boy Kenny Pickett because Kenny’s my guy, but Justin Fields is one of those dudes who’d I be like, might have to put him in front of you Kenny, might have to go ahead and work with this because Justin, in that offense, it would work,” Riddick said on Get Up. “The play-action game with Justin under center on first and second down with the dynamic duo that they have at the running back position right here with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, it is perfect, it’s absolutely perfect with the weapons, with George Pickens and Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth, are you kidding?”

Appearing on ESPN 1000, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes that not only will the Bears not move off the first overall pick, but that they can get a solid haul for Fields, whether that be from the Steelers or another team.

“I think the Bears could get a premium pick, a second-rounder, maybe more,” Rapoport said. “They’re in a really good spot getting so many picks no matter what they do.”

So, it seems likely that the cost will end up being at least a second-round pick to get Fields from the Bears, especially with other teams in the conversation. Rapoport answered ‘definitely’ that all of the Steelers, Falcons, and Raiders were teams to watch.

Fields took a small step forward in 2023, his third year as Chicago’s starting quarterback. The 24-year-old Ohio State alum threw 370 times, completing 227 for 2,562 yards and 16 touchdowns. He threw nine interceptions and maintained an 86.3 passer rating and a 5.29 adjusted net yards per attempt.

Last season, he was 192 of 318 for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, an 85.2 quarterback rating and 4.63 adjusted net yards per attempt.

Fields is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the Bears — or another team, if he’s traded — must decide this offseason if they want to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract. That would be a guaranteed $25 million contract for 2025. The Bears or another club could also attempt to negotiate a traditional contract extension.