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Well, there had been a lot of speculation as to what the Chicago Bears might do with Justin Fields. They have the #1 pick in the NFL draft. If they were convinced Fields was their QB of the future, that pick could have gone toward something else.

But it won’t. And there was little choice but to try and get something in return for him.

So the quarterback room in Pittsburgh has Russell Wilson, who has taken quite a fall in prestige. And there’s Fields, who was trying to build some. Kenny Pickett (Philadelphia), Mitchell Trubisky (Buffalo) and Mason Rudolph (Tennessee) have shuffled off to another place. Kyle Allen, the former Texas A&M starter who is now with his fifth NFL team, is the “third wheel” in the room.

Here are the NFL numbers……

Let’s take a look at the pro football futures at BetOnline to win the AFC North in the 2024 season:

NFL Odds by BetOnline

Team Odds
Baltimore Ravens -105
Cincinnati Bengals +175
Cleveland Browns +565
Pittsburgh Steelers +100


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Wilson – a “mentor”?

The original plan, according to some reports, was for Wilson to come in and “mentor” Pickett to a certain extent. The former University of Pittsburgh star was led to believe that he would be able to compete for the starting job. That’s something Wilson never demanded.

But Pickett grew suspicious of that scenario and wanted to go to another locale.

Tomlin has mentioned that Wilson is in “pole position” to be the starter. And that Fields will have the opportunity to “learn from a guy that’s been doing it for over a decade.”

That doesn’t sound like there’s going to be a real competition for the starting quarterback job.

And you know what? Maybe there shouldn’t be. Wilson is a nine-time Pro Bowl signal-caller who didn’t have a bad season in Denver last year. The year before? Well, maybe that was a disaster. But not 2023, when he completed 66% of his passes for 3070 yards and 26 touchdowns, suffering just eight interceptions.

The problem was that he just didn’t seem to meld well with Sean Payton. So there wasn’t a future for him with the Broncos.

Fields bring a certain skill set

What Tomlin and the Steelers get with the acquisition of Wilson is a veteran. That’s a contrast to a “developing” QB who sometimes played like a deer in the headlights (Kenny Pickett).

They get a guy who may not have the arm he used to or the running ability. But he’s someone who is still resourceful and isn’t afraid to air it out down the field.

Yes, the Steelers ran out of patience with Pickett. And this is a league that once preached that “it takes five years to develop a quarterback.” But with rookie contracts being the way they are, that’s about the time a guy can walk. And with high school and college programs running pro-style offenses with regularity, passers are more prepared, from a technical standpoint, when they come into the league.

So you can’t sit and wait, not when you are a franchise that is used to contending for the playoffs. With what the Steelers already had, they should at least make some noise with Wilson at the controls.

As for Fields, he becomes insurance for Tomlin if Wilson gets injured. Or if things don’t work out for some other reason. He has started for two full seasons in Chicago, and he certainly isn’t all the way there as a passer. That seems to be the prevailing opinion of the rest of the league as well. If it was different, the Bears would have gotten a better offer for him.

And one thing you can say about him is that he can figure out at least one way to move an offense – with his feet. Don’t forget, Fields is one of only three quarterbacks to rush for over a thousand yards, having gained 1143 in 2022.

So do I think there is going to be another deal made? Well, not for Fields, as the Steelers know his market value. They got him for a sixth-round pick unless he meets certain playing time thresholds. In which case it would be a fourth-rounder.

Maybe it’ll become a bad deal for Wilson with Tomlin and this staff, but that’s about the extent of it.

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