Justin Fields

Steelers leave door open for Justin Fields trade as they look for QB competition

The Bears might not have a robust trade market for Justin Fields

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan didn't divulge about his plan to add quarterback competition alongside Kenny Pickett this offseason.

While other general managers and coaches have expanded on the type of signal-caller they will be searching for this offseason, Khan kept it as general as possible Thursday at NFL Scouting Combine media availability.

"We'll look at every option," Khan said when asked about bringing in a veteran quarterback by trade or free agency. "Right now, we have one guy under contract. It's Kenny Pickett. Feel really good about Kenny. He knows, and we all know that there's going to be competition in the room, and we've always been a team that keeps three quarterbacks, and I'd expect that to be the same this year. We'll look at all avenues."

One of those "avenues" could see the Steelers trade for Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

The Bears arrived at the combine with "no master plan" regarding the No. 1 pick. But general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus both signaled Tuesday that the franchise is leaning toward drafting a quarterback at No. 1 and moving on from Fields.

Should the Bears lock in their plan to reset the quarterback contract clock, Poles said they would work fast to "do right" by Fields and trade him before the start of free agency. But looking at the quarterback situations around the NFL, it becomes clear that the Bears likely won't have many teams clamoring for Fields.

The Atlanta Falcons have emerged as the most likely landing spot for Fields, but that could change as the start of the new league year nears.

When asked about Fields to close his availability Thursday, Khan declined to answer a question about a player under contract with another team.

"I'm not going to talk about a specific player," Khan said. "But I'll just tell you that we will look at every option."

The Steelers' decision to hire Arthur Smith as their offensive coordinator could muddy the water. Smith had the chance to draft Fields when he was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons but passed on Fields to take tight end Kyle Pitts. Many in league circles believe that Smith is not a fan of Fields' game and don't believe the fit would be clean with the two of them in Pittsburgh.

Khan said Smith would play a big role in filling the quarterback room. As far as what the Steelers are looking for, Khan said he doesn't have a list of traits or abilities he'll prioritize when searching for competition for Pickett.

"We're going to look at everything," Khan reiterated. "Players come in different size and shapes and have different talents and we're always going to try to get as many good players as we possibly can regardless of the position."

The door for a Justin Fields trade to the Steelers is wide open, but Khan, Tomlin, and Smith have to decide if walking through it makes sense for the present and future of their franchise.

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