Rival AFC North Team Critiques Steelers' Decision Regarding Justin Fields - Sport News

Rival AFC North Team Critiques Steelers’ Decision Regarding Justin Fields

When the Chicago Bears landed the first overall pick in the draft for a second consecutive year, it seemed like only a matter of time before Justin Fields’ time with the team would. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded for him earlier this month.

Him being traded wasn’t a surprise, but the trade the Bears made was.

The Steelers had already signed Russell Wilson and didn’t give the Bears much to get Fields.

 

Following the trade, it seems one of the Steelers’ division rivals sold on it being the best move for Fields.

During an appearance on the “QB Unplugged” podcast, Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson said that he thinks there were better situations out there for Fields this offseason.

“For me, and I’m very on the conservative side, so I think Russell’s gonna be better. I think they should have a competition, best man wins, at the end of the day, but to each his own,” Watson said when asked if he thought Fields would become the starter by the end of the year. “That’s their own organization, they said Russell’s the guy. I think if he’s the guy, I think Justin could have went to a better situation so he can play.”

The Fields Market
At the start of the offseason, there were expected to be a few suitors looking to land Fields as their next starting quarterback.

The Falcons’ QB play was bad over the past couple of years and were looking for a fresh start with a new coach.

They signed Kirk Cousins to a huge deal.

The Aidan O’Connell experiment didn’t work out in Las Vegas, but the Raiders’ defense looked good enough in 2023 that they might have had playoff hopes with a better QB.

They decided they wanted Gardner Minshew.

The Steelers had struggled at QB for two years.

They signed Wilson.

Mac Jones had regressed after a strong rookie year with the Patriots.

The Pats appear to be looking at the draft for their next QB.

Even the Broncos could have been an option after they cut Wilson.

They still haven’t found a new starter and their plan to find one is unclear.

The Eagles reached out about trying to trade for him to be their backup, but that would have been a dead end with Jalen Hurts as their starter.

That lack of interest eventually led him to Pittsburgh, where he actually seems to have a pretty decent chance of being a starter again in the future.

Chance to Start Again With Steelers
Battling Wilson for a starting job certainly isn’t ideal for Fields, but it also seems like it was his best option after all of those other doors closed.

There are few teams around the league that would have brought Fields in for an actual competition with their starting QB.

The Giants might actually be the only other team left that has a QB position that their starter hasn’t entirely locked down, probably isn’t drafting a quarterback this year, and isn’t in the Bears’ division. They decided they wanted Drew Lock as their backup.

Meanwhile, the Steelers may have indicated that the plan is for Wilson to be the starter, but plans change in the NFL.

The Steelers probably didn’t enter the offseason planning to acquire Wilson and Fields while trading Kenny Pickett away.

Now they have two options at QB and they should be planning to have them compete for the starting job.

Wilson’s spot at the top of the depth chart is likely vulnerable than the Steelers have let on. He has shown signs of decline the past couple of years and the Steelers aren’t really all that committed to him.

He’s only on a one-year deal at the league minimum.

Fields could look better than him before the season and get the starting job. If he doesn’t he probably wasn’t going to be starting anywhere else either.

If Wilson struggles during the season, Fields will probably get a chance to start and try to right the ship for the Steelers.

Even if he never starts in 2024, the Steelers could like what they see from him enough to extend his deal with the intent to be their starter in 2025.

Regardless of what Watson thinks, Fields has an opportunity with the Steelers that it doesn’t seem he could’ve gotten anywhere else.

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