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NFL Analyst Throws Cold Water on Steelers Trade Rumors: ‘Arthur Smith … Wanted No Parts of Justin Fields’



Steelers QB Justin Fields

NFL Network analyst Steve Wyche threw a big bucket of cold water on the speculating linking the Pittsburgh Steelers as a potential trade destination for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

In an appearance on the NFL Network’s NFL Report podcast on Tuesday, Wyche, who was in attendance at the HBCU Combine alongside Steelers general manager Omar Khan, said while there is a scheme and need fit between the Steelers and Fields, that people are missing a key part of the equation when it comes to Pittsburgh’s potential desire add to the Chicago passer.

That is that new Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, when he was head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, was part of a front office that passed on drafting Fields, despite a need at quarterback with the pending departure of Matt Ryan.

The Falcons had the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, with quarterbacks going 1-2-3 ahead of them. The Jacksonville Jaguars surprised no one by taking Trevor Lawrence. Zach Wilson was an upset pick to go to the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers traded up to get Trey Lance at No. 3. That left the Falcons on the clock and Fields the only realistic option at quarterback.

But the Falcons took tight end Kyle Pitts instead, a player that always seemed to be a questionable fit in Smith’s offense and never reached his full potential.

“This conversation about the Steelers continues to intrigue me, because Arthur Smith, when he was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, he wanted no parts of Justin Fields,” Wyche said. “He had the possibility to draft him. They took Kyle Pitts. … Why now, all of sudden, would the head coach who designed the offense taking a liking to Justin Fields? 

“That’s why this conversation on the Steelers, and Arthur Smith and how he’d be a perfect fit … Why? Arthur Smith didn’t want him once. Why would he want him right now I maybe be completely off base, but I don’t see that.”

It seems unlikely that the Steelers will trade for Fields, who will probably cost at least a second-day pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. President Art Rooney II said as much earlier this month, and the Steelers are not looking for a quarterback to replace Kenny Pickett as the team’s starter, multiple outlets have reported.

That hasn’t stopped the speculation linking the Steelers and Fields from swirling, but Wyche brings up a good point that the fit isn’t even a particularly obvious one, in addition to the obvious reasons why the move is unlikely.