Steelers eagerness to sign Russell Wilson may have cost them a better option

Did the Steelers jump the gun by signing Russell Wilson? Could they have had something better?

Denver Broncos v Chicago Bears
Denver Broncos v Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

When the free agent frenzy kicked off, backup-caliber quarterbacks like Mitch Trubisky, Sam Darnold, Mac Jones, and Jameis Winston were busy agreeing to contracts with their new teams. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins broke the bank and players like Baker Mayfield and Gardner Minshew received a sizable payday.

These deals made Russell Wilson's contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers look even better. Just before the chaos ensued, Wilson agreed to join the Steelers on a one-year, $1.2 million deal (which is the veteran minimum for a quarterback with as many accrued seasons as Wilson has under his belt).

While Wilson is no longer the same player who earned nine Pro Bowl honors and a Super Bowl ring, he's better than most of the quarterbacks who have been signed in free agency and his contract comes at a fraction of the price with very little risk for Pittsburgh.

But did the Steelers' eagerness to get something done with Wilson ahead of free agency cost them an even better option?

Justin Fields can't find a home, and the Steelers would have been perfect

One quarterback who hasn't switched cities is former first-round pick, Justin Fields. We all know the Chicago Bears are going to draft USC's Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, so Fields is the odd man out.

However, nearly every team that had a critical need at quarterback either signed one already or are waiting to get one in the NFL Draft. Simply put, the interest in Justin Fields is not there.

Early in the offseason, you could have convinced many Steelers fans that it would have been a good decision to trade a second-round pick for Fields. Now the team that ultimately receives his services in 2024 may only have to pay a fraction of that price.

ESPN's Adam Schefter said on First Take that 'the teams that are looking at him would be looking at him as a backup.'

If this proves to be the case, it means that Fields won't be traded for nearly as much as the NFL media initially anticipated. It's hard to say what the asking price might be, but if there are no suitors, the Bears might be willing to trade him for whatever offer they can get.

When you think about it this way, did the Steelers make the right choice with Russell Wilson?

While Fields has a slightly bigger cap number for the 2024 season and will need to receive the fifth-year option, He is roughly a decade younger than Wilson, and there is still hope that he could be a long-term fix at the quarterback position.

Giving up a third or fourth-round pick at the shot of landing a player like this seems well worth it. In fact, it makes you wonder if the Steelers would have rushed to agree on a contract with Wilson if they had known that no other teams would be interested in trading for Fields.

If Russell Wilson falls flat in Pittsburgh or proves that he just doesn't have it anymore, this is going to look like a massive blown opportunity on the part of Mike Tomlin and the Steelers' front office.

Omar Khan's eagerness to get something done at quarterback might have cost them an opportunity to land a much younger quarterback with significantly more upside.