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Steelers Won’t Change In-Season Negotiation Policy for Fields, Wilson



Steelers general manager Omar Khan and Rooney
Pittsburgh Steelers GM Omar Khan (left) and owner/president Art Rooney II (right) shake hands during Khan's introductory press conference at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Friday, May 27, 2022.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have two options for a starting quarterback in the 2024 season, with head coach Mike Tomlin saying last week the Russell Wilson is in “pole position,” but that Justin Fields will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job.

No matter who wins the training camp battle at quarterback, though, the Steelers will have their starting quarterback playing out the final season this fall, unless general manager Omar Khan signs one to a contract extension before the season.

Wilson agreed to a one-year, veteran-minimum contract with the Steelers in free agency, and it seems unlikely that the team will now want to commit more years and guaranteed money to the 35-year-old at this point, if they don’t have to.

Fields is on the final season of his rookie contract, and it seems unlikely that the Steelers will pick up the $25.7 million 2025 option on a player that they currently don’t expect to be their starting quarterback.

The Steelers could do something like the Green Bay Packers did with Jordan Love, signing him to an incentive-laden contract extension that could end up worth the full amount of his option, but only if he plays and plays well.

The decision on such a contract will have to be made before the start of the 2024 season, because the Steelers do not negotiate during the playing season, and even though the team has seen many of its longtime standards go by the wayside in recent years, Khan said that’s one that won’t be changing any time soon.

“I think regardless of position, I don’t think those certain policies like that one are going to change,” Khan said last week at the NFL owner’s meetings.

So the Steelers will have a few months to figure out if they want one of their quarterbacks locked up long term, or if they’re comfortable going into the season with three players all on one-year deals.