This gives the Steelers flexibility
A new deal like this is all positive for the Steelers. Warren provides at least one capable back on the roster no matter what else happens. The Steelers could still pick up the option for Harris, or they could let him just play out his rookie deal. No matter what, Harris will likely want a deal closer to the top of the market (12 or more million a season) when he is up for it, and that is a huge risk given his age and usage.
If Harris sticks around on a new deal/option years, Warren and him continue their one-two punch. If Harris wants too much money, the team can let him walk and still have a capable back in their system to sub in. While he has mostly been used as a change of pace back, Warren runs with a lot of power. He can fill any role for this team, and if they lose their hammer in Harris, Warren can fill in.
While I like Warren best in tandem to keep him fresh, he could handle the top role with ease if need be. The team could also go out and draft another back to add to the mix. With his deal likely not amounting to a lot, it gives the Steelers the most flexibility at running back moving forward.
While I shy away from huge money deals to running backs, I think fairly paying Warren makes a lot of sense. He gives the team insurance with Harris’s contract looming, and we know he can work in tandem with Harris if he doesn’t leave. Warren also locks up at least a year of good pay, so he can avoid losing out on his opportunity due to injury. Look for a deal to be worked out that benefits both parties this offseason.