Grade the Trade: Steelers make unhinged move dealing a QB to desperate AFC rival

Steelers could turn a QB into draft capital without lifting a finger, but at what cost to the team?
Pittsburgh Steelers v Oakland Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers v Oakland Raiders / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers need better performances from the quarterback position in 2024; there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This franchise has gone through two nightmarish seasons since the departure of Ben Roethlisberger and cracking the 20-point barrier has been a challenge.

During the offseason, Omar Khan cleaned house at the game's most important position. Kenny Pickett was traded, Mitch Trubisky was released, and the team was happy waving goodbye to Mason Rudolph when they let him walk in free agency.

In steps veteran Russell Wilson and a polarizing young QB in Justin Fields.

While these may not be the knights in shining armor that will rescue the team from mediocrity, the combination of the two new quarterbacks inspires hope for the 2024 season.

Fields and Wilson have only just arrived, but Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport is already flirting with the idea of sending one of Pittsburgh's new quarterbacks packing. Davenport recently proposed a mock trade that would send Justin Fields to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Grade the Trade: Steelers boost draft capital by trading Justin Fields to the Raiders

Justin Fields trade

For the Raiders, this move would make some sense. The collection of Aiden O'Connell and journeyman Gardner Minshew doesn't exactly inspire confidence. However, a trade has to work for both parties.

The one argument you could make in favor of this mock trade is that the Steelers would be getting more draft capital than what they started with. Pittsburgh will be sending just a sixth-round pick to Las Vegas in exchange for their former first-round quarterback. Therefore, they could amplify their 2025 draft capital simply by having Fields on their roster for a few months of the offseason.

But this would be a bizarre route to take for a team with major questions at the position.

While Russell Wilson is reportedly in 'pole position' to be the team's starting quarterback to open the season, a lot can happen between now and September. The Steelers could discover that Justin Fields is the more talented player or Wilson could suffer an injury that would force him out of action.

There's also a chance that Wilson doesn't make it through the season as the team's starting quarterback before Mike Tomlin decides to hand the reigns to Fields (who happens to be a decade younger).

The off chance that Fields becomes a starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers is worth well more than whatever the team would end up getting with a third-round pick from the Raiders and a meaningless sixth-round pick swap in 2025.

If new Raiders GM Tom Telesco proposed this to the Steelers, Omar Khan, and Andy Weidl would turn this offer down in a heartbeat.

Grade: D