4 QBs Steelers can acquire without trading away a first-round pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers need a new quarterback, and there are affordable options on the market.

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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1. Steelers can trade for Bears' Justin Fields

The Chicago Bears probably won't trade out of the No. 1 spot twice in a row. Caleb Williams is a heck of a prospect compared to Bryce Young, and there's every reason to believe the Bears will embrace him as their new QB1. Justin Fields showed signs of improvement in 2023, but the 24-year-old still hasn't done enough to solidify his reputation as a true franchise cornerstone.

For Pittsburgh, that upside still remains — and it's why Fields for a package of second or third-round picks could pay dividends. The NFL has embraced mobile QBs more with each passing season. Fields is a truly bonkers athlete, both elusive in the pocket and explosive in the open field. Aside from two-time MVP Lamar Jackson, there isn't a more gifted play-extender and QB runner in the league.

That said, Fields comes with valid questions about his arm talent. It's a bit paradoxical to watch such a mega-athlete struggle to push the ball through the air, but Fields frequently floats wobbly passes into traffic. He too often balks under pressure, which leads to a ton of sacks and bad throws. Last season he completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 2,562 yards, 16 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 13 starts. That INT number needs to get cleaned up, not to mention the 44 sacks and 10 fumbles.

Pittsburgh can afford the patient approach in the sense that Pickett requires a similarly delicate touch. If the Steelers post another winning season, it will be on the strength of their defense and their playmakers. Fields can, at the very least, add a new dynamic to Pittsburgh's offense. Pickett is glued to the pocket. Fields stresses defenses outside the pocket and has the ability to generate opportunities from scratch.

He comes with risk — and he's probably the most costly option here — but Fields would give the Steelers fanbase true upside to invest in.

NFL RUMORS. Steelers interviewing coaches, Dallas-Vrabel silence, Pats trade. Steelers interviewing coaches, Dallas-Vrabel silence, Pats trade. dark