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Will Justin Fields Sign Extension With Steelers Before Start Of Season?



Will Justin Fields sign a contract extension before the start of the regular season?

The Steelers have to decide in a little over a month whether to pick up QB Justin Fields’ fifth-year option. The matter appears to boast universal agreement, however, against them doing so. After all, why commit around $25 million to a quarterback you’ve never seen win?

While the Steelers aren’t likely picking up Fields’ option, however, they can try to work out another arrangement. As is becoming increasingly common, instead of the option, we could see the team offer him an extension.

Fields likely recognizes that his play on the field up to this point hasn’t earned a huge windfall. Three years into his career, he’s still riding on the idea of the potential for his future. The Steelers, however, want to be a part of that future, so they probably want to make sure he’s under contract.

After all, they traded for him when they didn’t have to. They could have gone other directions with the backup quarterback job; indeed, they’ve already signed Kyle Allen. Fields is in Pittsburgh because the Steelers want to see who he is a year or two from now.

And the only way they can find the answer to that is if they keep him under contract. I’m sure both sides want the security of a long-term contract right now, but it’s all about finding the right numbers. The Steelers can’t pay Fields franchise quarterback money because he hasn’t earned it. As for Fields, he doesn’t want to lowball himself and lock into a cheap contract if he breaks out as the starter the Chicago Bears thought he was in 2021.

The question is what it takes to sign him, and I’m not expert enough to venture a concrete guess. The Steelers are paying him about $3.2 million on the final year of his rookie contract sans a fifth-year option. That option is worth about $25 million, so they’ll have to find a way to meet somewhere in the middle. And it’s hard to say how many years Fields would be willing to sign for, on top of that.

The Steelers’ 2023 season has been put out of its misery, ending as so many have before in recent years: a disappointing, blowout playoff loss. The only change-up lately is when they miss the playoffs altogether. But with the Buffalo Bills stamping them out in the Wildcard Round, they have another long offseason ahead.

The biggest question hanging over the team is the quarterback question. Does Russell Wilson make them a Super Bowl-caliber team, or are they wasting a year? Will he play just one season in Pittsburgh before moving on, or the Steelers moving on from him? How will the team address the depth chart?

The Steelers are swirling with more questions this offseason than usual, frankly, though the major free agent list is less substantial than usual. It’s just a matter of…what happens next? Where do they go from here? How do they find the way forward?


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