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Omar Khan Doesn’t Get Into Details About Justin Fields Conversations

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t want to discuss the potential Justin Fields trade possibilities in detail.



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Justin Fields
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 9, 2021. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

As expected, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan was close to the vest when talking about external quarterback options with the media at the NFL Combine on Thursday. The Steelers have been linked as possible landing spots for Justin Fields, Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson over the last month. Kenny Pickett is currently the only quarterback on the team’s roster, so they’ll have to make some additions at some level whether it’s a second-tier veteran like Ryan Tannehill or a move for one of the big names.

“There’s different avenues for us,” Khan said. “Draft, free agency, the trade market. I would say every one of those avenues is an option for us. …

“We’re looking at everything. I have an obligation to the players, to the front office, to every member of the Steelers Nation, to look at every option and every way of trying to improve this team and we’re going to do so.”

Asked specifically about potentially trading for Fields, Khan said that he would not get into specifics about the conversations he’s had around the league. Khan had the same answer when asked if the Steelers have an interest in Cousins or Wilson. Khan is not permitted to discuss players currently under contract to other teams, at any rate.

“I’m not gonna go into details about the conversations that we’ve had,” he said. “But like I mentioned earlier, I can tell you that I have an obligation to look at every avenue that’s out there to make us a better football team.”

One of those quarterbacks could also be Mason Rudolph, the Steelers’ internal free agent, but it’s looking like he will test the open market first. In addition to Fields, former New York Jets first-round pick Zach Wilson and Washington Commanders starter Sam Howell are on the trade market. Wilson, Cousins, Tannehill and Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter Baker Mayfield are the top options at QB in the free agent market.

It seems likely that anyone, including Rudolph, that signs in Pittsburgh will do so with the understanding that Pickett is most likely to win the job.

Omar Khan said at the Combine that he has full faith in Pickett as the Steelers’ starting quarterback, but stressed the fact that competition will be a part of the process.

“I have full faith in Kenny,” Khan said. “He’s shown us some good things. Obviously, there were some issues with the offense and I’m excited about the impact that Arthur Smith is going to have on him. Arthur is very optimistic about Kenny. I know they’ve communicated. We’ll have some strong competition there and we’ll see how it goes. …

“Regardless of what position, not just the quarterback position, you guys have heard me talk about this last year when I first got this job, competition is important to me. And that’s no different to the quarterback position. Competition makes us all better. That’s regardless of position. That’s just in life.”