Share & Comment:

The latest reports around the Steelers QB situation change nothing

The NFL Scouting Combine is all but done, and with most NFL reporters packing up for the week, they have learned a lot throughout the entire league descending on Indianapolis. People who give themselves the distinction of being an “insider” are emptying their notebooks on what they heard, and might be hearing, at the combine.

While some reporters carry more merit than others, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, who used to be the ESPN reporter covering the Pittsburgh Steelers, is usually a name you can trust when it comes to information surrounding the black-and-gold. In a recent ESPN+ story Fowler spoke about a recent meeting with Kenny Pickett and newly hired offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in Florida, where Pickett trains in the offseason.

“Even as they sort out their quarterback outlook, the Steelers have started the process of rebuilding third-year passer Kenny Pickett. I’m told new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith recently spent time with Pickett in South Florida and that the two had a “great” meeting. The sentiment among many here in Indy — including some with the team — was that Pickett could get another chance after a disastrous 2023 season due in part to the offense’s overall struggles under then-OC Matt Canada. Smith should help maximize Pickett’s skill set.

“There’s also little doubt Pittsburgh will bring in quarterback competition, which could spark a Mason Rudolph re-signing.”

The reaction to this news from some of the Steelers fan base is one which certainly raises more questions than the report itself. What am I referring to in this instance? The fact this report provided no new information outside of the meeting between Smith and Pickett in Florida. Anyone who has paid attention this offseason knows the Steelers plans for the quarterback position are to give Pickett every opportunity to prove he is worthy of QB1 status. Them wanting to bring back Rudolph? Again, not any type of breaking news.

For some reason the rumors surrounding Justin Fields potentially being traded to the Steelers heated back up this week, and here is what Fowler reported on what the Bears might be looking for as a return for the former Ohio State quarterback.

“The major quarterback domino that many are waiting to fall is Chicago’s Justin Fields decision. Chicago has not played its hand, and several league sources believe Fields — who has not requested a trade — could probably garner a Day 2 pick in a potential deal. There’s no firm deadline on a trade, though the start of free agency is sort of a soft one. Chicago will need multiple teams in the fray to drive a market, and after asking around, I expect Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Minnesota to be on the radar.

“There’s plenty of smoke around Atlanta and Fields. Some around the league are wondering about the fit, thinking a Rams-influence offense under new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson could target a Cousins-style quarterback, while others say Fields’ immense talent will be maximized in that scheme. As one league source put it, Atlanta has done enough work on Fields, Cousins and Baker Mayfield that the chances of coming away with one of them are fairly good.”

The key aspect in the above reporting is the Bears looking to receive a Day 2 (Rounds 2 and 3) draft pick for Fields. The Steelers are unlikely to want to part ways with that type of draft capital, and likely wouldn’t be involved in any trade discussions unless the asking price went to a Day 3 selection (Rounds 4 thru 7). Even then, you have to have questions answered surrounding Fields’ 5th year option and the financial implications on the decision.

Ultimately, I stand by our reporting of the Steelers not being interested in trading for Fields, instead focusing on trying to re-sign Mason Rudolph and run it back with Pickett. Fans might not want to hear it, but it’s what we’re hearing on our end.

Fowler provides a little bit of clarity on the quarterback situation/market, but it is far from anything which hasn’t been reported a multitude of times since the Super Bowl ended in February.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the start of the new league year in just over a week.


Sign up below for the latest news, stories and podcasts from our affiliates

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.