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Steelers Learn Najee Harris’ Fifth-Year Option Price Tag

The Pittsburgh Steelers now know what the price tag will be on Najee Harris’ fifth-year option moving forward.



Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris in a game against the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 15, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers learned that the salary cap jumped significantly for the 2023 offseason, giving them significant flexibility moving forward. Not only did they learn that, but they also found out what Najee Harris’ fifth-year option will look like, and it’s an affordable one. Harris’ price tag will come in at $6.790 million since he has not made a Pro Bowl straight-up in the eyes of the league. He was selected to one Pro Bowl, but as an alternate, which does not affect his fifth-year option price tag.

Harris, the team’s first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, has produced well in his first three years with the team despite suboptimal conditions given his offensive line play in front of him. The Steelers have a tough decision this offseason on whether to pick up the option on Harris’ deal for the 2025 season.

Asked about Harris’ future during his season-ending press conference, Mike Tomlin gushed about the performance of his big back.

“Man, he’s been what we needed him to be,” Tomlin said. “I read a stat, I think you know, he’s 1,000-yard rusher three straight years and how scarce that is. And I just think that speaks to his consistency, availability. He’s been really solid.”

As Tomlin notes, Harris became the first player in Steelers history to run for 1,000 or more yards in each of the first three seasons of his career. He had the best season of his career in terms of yards per carry in 2023. Harris rushed 255 times for 1,035 yards — a 4.1 yards per carry average — and he scored eight touchdowns. Harris had rushed for 3.9 and 3.8 yards per carry one each of his first two seasons.

Second-year back Jaylen Warren ran for 5.3 yards per carry, one of the best figures in the league in 2023. He ran 149 times for 784 yards and four touchdowns. He was also more involved in the passing game, catching 61 passes for 370 yards compared to 29 receptions for 170 yards for Harris. It seems like Arthur Smith will want to keep these two together. Harris’ fifth-year option decision must be submitted by May 2nd, but it is expected they will pick it up.