NFL Media Reacts as Steelers Turn Heads With Another Blockbuster QB Move

Rumors this offseason connected the Pittsburgh Steelers to numerous quarterbacks, including Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. When the offseason dust eventually settles, the Steelers will have both Wilson and Fields on their 2024 roster.

Kenny Pickett Mike Tomlin Justin Fields

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on March 16 that the Steelers acquired Fields from the Chicago Bears for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick. The selection will become a fourth-rounder if Fields plays a certain amount of snaps this season.

It’s the third major move the Steelers have made at quarterback within the past six days. As was the case with the first two quarterback transactions, the Steelers sent social media into a frenzy with their acquisition of Fields.

The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly shared his reaction to the deal in GIF form on X (formerly Twitter).

As Steelers fans will understand, that was in reference to Steelers general manager Omar Khan.

Furthermore, The Score’s Daniel Valente expressed his love for the Fields trade.

“The Steelers signing Russell Wilson for $1.2M and getting Justin Fields for a conditional 6th-round pick,” Valente wrote. “Omar Khan, man.”

In addition to trading for Fields, the Steelers came to terms on a contract with Wilson late on March 10. They also traded Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles on March 15.

The latter move allowed the Steelers to then trade for Fields.

“The Steelers were one of two teams that the Bears had earmarked — along with the Falcons — at the start of free agency as potential trade partners,”’s Albert Breer wrote. “Where the Russell Wilson signing closed the door, the Kenny Pickett trade reopened it.

“It’s Caleb Williams time in Chicago.”

Additionally, ESPN’s Adam Schefter added an important detail in his second tweet on the Fields trade. He wrote the conditional pick for Fields will become a fourth-rounder if he plays 51% of Pittsburgh’s offensive snaps in 2024.

Steelers Acquire QB Justin Fields

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for the Steelers at quarterback. That also somehow feels like an understatement.

The Steelers have completely transformed their quarterback room this offseason. With Wilson, they have added a 9-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion. With Fields, the Steelers traded for a former first-round pick regarded with tremendous upside.

Yet, the Steelers quarterback room also got cheaper. It wasn’t costly in terms of draft capital required to land Fields either.

At one point this offseason, Schefter speculated that it would cost teams a second-round pick to acquire Fields.

“The Steelers have QBs Russell Wilson ($1.21M) and Justin Fields ($3.23M) for a combined $4.44 million in 2024,” Breer wrote. “Plus, they get more of a return for Kenny Pickett than they gave up for Fields.”

SB Nation’s Pride of Detroit’s X account trolled the Bears for how little they received in return for Fields.

“Not even a 2024 sixth. A 2025 sixth,” the account posted with a laughing emoji.

Fields has been a dynamic quarterback at his best in Chicago. But his impressive athletic ability on his highlight reel is misleading. Fields has struggled with consistency from game to game and even play to play.

In three seasons with the Bears, Fields completed 60.3% of his passes for an average of 7 yards per pass. He also threw 40 touchdowns versus 30 interceptions while averaging 6.2 yards per rush with 14 rushing scores.

Furthermore, Fields posted a 10-28 record as a starter.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero wrote on X that Fields will be Wilson’s backup next season.

“Is it a competition between Russell Wilson and Justin Fields in Pittsburgh? One source just texted: ‘Russ is the starter.’”

The Steelers must decide by May 2 whether to pick up Fields’ fifth-year option. That would cost the Steelers $25.66 million.

But with the trade compensation for Fields so low, the Steelers will probably feel comfort declining the option and then potentially re-signing Fields to a new deal depending on how the 2024 season goes.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter Takes Some Heat for Edited Fields Photo

One of the more interesting social media posts immediately after the Fields’ trade addressed the use of a photo of the quarterback.

With his tweet, Schefter included a picture of Fields in a Steelers uniform. Obviously, it was edited because Fields has never played for Pittsburgh.

Posting edited photos of players in different uniforms has become commonplace after big signings and trades during NFL free agency. But one NFL media member took issue with it for a couple reasons.

“This is probably ‘old man yells at cloud’ to many, but not so long ago it was considered unethical for professional journalists to edit photos like this,” Chiefs writer and author Matt Derrick wrote on X. “And … did ESPN just photoshop Justin Fields’ face on to the body of Josh Dobbs?


Many responses to Derrick, though, argued that he was indeed “an old man yelling at clouds.”

Regardless of where one lands on the use of edited photos, it now won’t be too long until Fields is in black and gold for real.

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