When Mike Tomlin insisted that the starting quarterback for the 2024 season is already on Pittsburgh's roster, the vast majority of Steelers fans voiced their displease with the QB situation. Tomlin was clearly referring to former first-round pick Kenny Pickett (as only Pickett and Mitch Trubisky are under contract). However, after seeing two years of Pickett, reasonable fans understand that he's not going to be enough to lead this team back to Super Bowl contention.
Now there appears to be a glimmer of hope. Recently, Bob Pompeani of KDKA TV recently caught up with Steelers owner and team president, Art Rooney II. Pompeani asked him numerous questions about the state of the team, but the most intriguing involved the quarterback situation.
Pompeani asked if the team would be willing to make a trade for a quarterback if the price is right, and Rooney isn't ruling anything out.
"As we sit here in early February, we’re not closing the door on anything. We have a lot of evaluations to go through and we’ll go through all of the options and do we what we need to do to be better this coming season."- Art Rooney II, via CBS News Pittsburgh
Rooney's statements suggest that they will be on the phone with a team tomorrow about acquiring their quarterback, but I'm sure he realizes there are options that could potentially make the Steelers a better team right away.
Steelers trade for Justin Fields isn't dead yet
The most notable quarterback who should be available via trade during the 2024 offseason is Justin Fields. The former first-round pick made strides with the Chicago Bears late in the 2023 season, but he hasn't put it all together yet, and the team will soon need to make a decision on a contract extension.
The Bears have a chance to hit the reset button and take a highly-touted prospect like Caleb Williams (who will have four years on a rookie contract). Not only that, but Chicago will be able to recoup solid draft capital by trading fields.
So what will the athletic quarterback cost in a trade? Considering his contract situation and the fact that he has never put up gaudy numbers in his first three seasons as a passer, it's highly unlikely that Chicago will get a first-round pick in return. It has been estimated by some that Fields could be acquired at the cost of a second-round pick and an additional Day 2 pick (maybe a future second or third).
If a second and third-round pick is all it would cost for the Pittsburgh Steelers to take another stab at landing a franchise quarterback, they should be all over this. While Fields has plenty of areas of his game that need to be cleaned up, there's no questioning that he's immensely talented thanks to his huge arm and incredible mobility.
There could be other quarterbacks on the trade market as well, but none who share the same luster as Justin Fields in a potential trade. It's a good thing that Art Rooney II isn't closing the door on anything, I would not be surprised to see the Pittsburgh Steelers as one of the teams pursuing Fields the hardest when the 2024 trade period begins on March 13th.