Steelers’ Justin Fields Landing In Pittsburgh Sparked Strong Criticism From Former NFL MVP

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded for Justin Fields after bringing in former Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, setting up a very intriguing positional room ahead of the 2024 season. The Fields move came after the Steelers parted ways with their former first-round draft pick, Kenny Pickett, trading him to the Philadelphia Eagles. While many see Pittsburgh as an ideal landing spot for Fields, that isn’t how former NFL MVP Cam Newton sees the situation.

Justin Fields trade rumors: Video of Bears QB leads to Falcons trade  speculation

Pickett never came close to developing into the franchise quarterback the Steelers envisioned when they selected him with the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. A trade with the Eagles solved that issue, especially considering that Pickett was not a fan of Wilson being tapped as the starter when training camp began. Fields is coming into a very different situation than he is used to, starting out as the backup to Wilson, and Newton doesn’t see that as much of an upgrade for the former 11th-overall pick. Newton, on 4th & 1 With Cam Newton, disagreed with the idea that the Steelers were a good place for Fields to end up.

“Is he though?… You went from a franchise quarterback to a package guy… Okay? If Russell Wilson is the starter for 18 weeks and they go to the playoffs…you see what I’m saying?”

Newton heavily implied that if Wilson ends up leading the Steelers to any kind of postseason success, it would cement the former Super Bowl winner as the future in Pittsburgh, at least for the time being. Considering that Newton was a similar kind of quarterback to Fields, his perspective has to carry at least a little weight. The Steelers may have found ways to get Kordell Stewart involved during Bill Cowher’s tenure, but Newton doesn’t see Fields eventually earning the starting spot as Stewart did. A big reason for that is that the league’s patience for development has changed, and Newton believes most teams have seen enough from Fields.

“Justin Fields is finding out firsthand that this is a business. Unfortunately, [it] hasn’t been in his favor. And it wasn’t up to him to get traded, like, it was a collision course — it was about to be a trainwreck. H***, his experience there was a trainwreck. He stayed it; multiple teammates have stayed it. They wanted Justin to kind of stay…and you really only got two to potentially three years to show you’re good. Cause the NFL has changed. We’re not allowing players to develop anymore…you gotta already come in able to compartmentalize personal versus professional.”

That was certainly a scathing review of Fields’ time with the Chicago Bears, but the Steelers believe the issues weren’t with Fields but rather where he was struggling to develop. Whether Fields’ time in Pittsburgh ends up launching him back into the starting spot will have to be seen, but there is no doubt the Steelers have immediately upgraded their quarterback room. Regardless of how Wilson and Fields work out, going from Pickett, Mitch Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph to their current situation is already moving in the right direction.

Steelers Want More Than Just Okay

While there is a sense of pride in the fact that Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season as the head coach of the Steelers, the tune has gotten a little old. The last time the Steelers won a playoff game was against the Kansas City Chiefs – before Patrick Mahomes – in the 2016 AFC Divisional Round. Even that was an 18-16 squeaker that left few filled with confidence. Since then, it has been disappointment after disappointment, either due to missing the playoffs or another early exit.

Omar Khan wasn’t just making moves to bolster the roster – which he certainly did – it was also to send a message to the fans in Pittsburgh. The times of accepting being okay are in the past; they want to win, and that starts in 2024. Bringing in Wilson, trading for Fields, signing Patrick Queen, and the Pickett trade all point to a team that knows what is needed to become successful. Granted, until the Steelers start playing football games, no one will know how it worked out, but for the moment, it looks like the Steelers finally got as frustrated with mediocrity as their fans were.

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