Trey Lance encouraging reports lend new hope over Steelers Justin Fields

If Trey Lance can turn things around, there's even more reason to believe that Justin Fields can too.
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Steelers fans were thrilled when Pittsburgh traded for Justin Fields during the 2024 offseason. This is a move that nobody expected after the team signed veteran QB Russell Wilson for the league minimum.

Unfortunately, Fields has taken a step back from where he was in Chicago.

Mike Tomlin reportedly told Wilson that he will be the starting quarterback to open the 2024 season. This came as the team made the trade for the polarizing Justin Fields.

After three years as a starting quarterback, Fields, a former first-round pick, is taking a backseat and is expected to begin his Pittsburgh Steelers career on the sidelines as the 35-year-old Wilson takes charge.

But there is hope.

During OTAs, Jane Slater of NFL Network reported that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Trey Lance was turning heads. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy claims that Lance is 'close to becoming a master of the system.'

While Trey Lance's performance has nothing to do with Justin Fields at first glance, this is an important reminder that sometimes development just takes time in the NFL.

Lance and Fields were part of the same 2021 draft class class and were both former first-round picks with untapped potential. The San Francisco 49ers spent a total of three first-rounders to move up and secure the North Dakota State QB, only to turn around and trade him to the Dallas Cowboys two years later.

Like Fields, Lance is entering the final year of his rookie contract and he has drawn a lot of buzz this offseason. But unlike Fields, Lance has virtually no game experience. Lance has thrown just 102 passes in his first three seasons and has started a mere 4 games.

This is where Fields has a massive leg up on his former draft mate.

Fields has started 38 of 40 NFL games he has been available for and has 958 pass attempts under his belt. He's also coming off the best season of his career in which he earned 20 total touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 13 games in 2023.

The most encouraging part is that, like Lance, he gets a fresh start with a new organization that hasn't turned the page on him. Fields will be surrounded by a more talented roster in Pittsburgh and a competent coaching staff that could get the most out of his skill set.

Most of the time, it doesn't take franchise quarterbacks this long to prove themselves. But we knew how raw Justin Fields was entering the NFL in 2021. If the Dallas Cowboys have hope that Trey Lance could be their future, there's no reason the Pittsburgh Steelers shouldn't have hope that Fields could be their guy.

Both players are out to prove themselves in a contract year, and you can bet that they will be scratching and clawing for every opportunity that comes their way. We don't want to read too much into anything that's going on in OTAs, but these are two young, moldable quarterbacks, and these things take time.

At the very least, these encouraging reports surrounding Trey Lance lend hope that the Steelers have something to be excited about in Justin Fields.