The Pittsburgh Steelers are among the favorites to land Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, should the Bears choose to move on from him this offseason.
The Bears will have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and must decide whether they want to attempt to build around Fields or trade him and use that pick to land one of the top quarterbacks in the draft class, USC’s Caleb Williams or North Carolina’s Drake Maye.
Fields took a small step forward in 2023, his third year as Chicago’s staring 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 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 could also attempt to negotiate a traditional contract extension.
That’s led to many to suggest that they could choose to move on from Fields, and go with Williams or Maye, re-setting their rebuild under a new quarterback with a new, five-year deal.
The Bears have reportedly been fielding enough calls about Fields for most general managers to have an idea of what they’re looking for. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Bears’ most likely return is a second- or third-round pick if they move on from Fields before the draft.
The Steelers’ future quarterback position is extremely unsettled. Kenny Pickett has been benched for Mason Rudolph, but remains under contract for 2024 and 2025, and there have been reports that the team remains committed to him for the future. Rudolph is set to be a free agent, while former No. 2 Mitch Trubisky appears likely to be released from his contract.
Could the Steelers look to add Fields to that mix? The ask in return likely would not be prohibitive. The Steelers have seven selections in the 2024 draft, and likely would be un-afraid of parting with one. They also will need to add to the quarterback position in some way, with the potential departures of one or both of Trubisky or Rudolph.
But such a move would be largely out of character with the way the Steelers have traditionally gone about their business, and that’s reflected in the Steelers’ position on the odds board to acquire Fields.
According to odds posted by IllinoisBet.com, the Steelers are tied for the fourth-best odds of landing Fields, but they are still fairly long odds. The Steelers are +1,200 to be the next team for the Chicago quarterback, with implied odds of 7.7%.
The Atlanta Falcons are the top team at +475, followed by the New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders at +900 and the Steelers, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings at +1,200.
The field (for Fields) is at +150. So the bookmaker is giving Fields a 40% chance of returning to Chicago.