Steelers' Justin Fields 'definitely competing' to be QB1

League: NFL

Posted on: 21 May, 2024 at 08:32 PM

Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields credits Bears general manager Ryan Poles for staying true to a promise by trading the former first-round pick to his preferred destination.

Fields landed in Pittsburgh in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick as potential competition for Russell Wilson after the Bears decided to use the No. 1 overall pick to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams. Once that decision crystallized for Chicago, Poles personally committed to "doing right by Justin Fields."

"Shoutout to Poles," Fields said Tuesday after organized team activities with the Steelers. "We communicated to him through my agent, and I told him where I wanted to be and this was a place I wanted to be, so he honored that and I appreciate him for that. Nothing but love for the city, the fans, my teammates and coaches."

If Fields plays more than 51 percent of the total snaps for the Steelers in 2024, Chicago's draft compensation in return is upgraded to a fourth-round pick.

They cleared the depth chart in a matter of weeks, dealing former starter Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles and allowing Mason Rudolph to join the Tennessee Titans in free agency.

Fields, the No. 11 pick in the 2021 draft, had 40 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in three seasons with the Bears.

It's also a fresh start for Wilson, who enters Year 13 with something to prove. He signed with the Steelers after being released by the Broncos despite a total cap hit of more than $80 million.

Fields said he's grateful to be in Pittsburgh and declined to answer whether the Bears did everything they could to facilitate his growth on the field.

"It is what it is. That's in the past," Fields said.

As for his next chapter with the Steelers, Fields said his intentions are clear inside the building.

"I'm definitely competing. Russ knows that," Fields said. "We're competing against each other every day. I definitely don't have the mindset of me just sitting every day. I'm pushing him to be his best and he's pushing me to be my best each and every day."

Fields said he's not the same quarterback he was last year.

"I have a lot more room to grow," Fields said. "I'm going to continue to get better each and every day. I'm nowhere near my ceiling."

--Field Level Media