Justin Fields may have gone to a more hopeless situation than he anticipated

Justin Fields' next best shot might come in 2025 free agency
Justin Fields
Justin Fields / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

With the way he and the Chicago Bears closed out the 2023 NFL season, there was hope for Justin Fields going into the 2024 offseason. Hope that, at the very least, some team might covet him enough to make him their stopgap starter for a year and play for a shot at a big-money contract in 2025.

But that was not to be.

Despite the idea that Fields could return to his home state of Georgia to play for the Falcons, even some idea that he might get traded for a first- or second-round pick, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers who swooped in and traded for him, giving up just a conditional sixth-round pick in the process. On paper, the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed like a great potential landing spot for Fields, but that was before they signed veteran Russell Wilson.

The Steelers have been going through a handful of years of instability at the quarterback position since the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger. They've still been able to win more games than not, but the Steelers have clearly been held back by quarterback play. The inconsistency and "wild card" aspect of Justin Fields at the position is a huge negative against him at this point, even as tough as Russell Wilson has had it the last two years in Denver.

With reports coming out of Steelers OTAs, it seems like Fields landed in an even more hopeless situation than he could have anticipated.

The more you read coming out of Pittsburgh these days, the less it really feels like Justin Fields has any sort of chance of starting for that team barring injury to Russell Wilson. Wilson is not just in the driver's seat for the job, but based on those reports, it sounds like the Steelers don't plan on giving him a short leash, by any means.

It almost makes you wonder why the Steelers even bothered acquiring Fields in the first place. He's at such a critical time of his career, and if they're not planning on giving him a fair shot, it's really a disservice to the player to just have him rotting on the sideline.

None of this means that Fields absolutely will not play this year. Heck, there's even a chance that he could end up still getting playing time this season for Pittsburgh or possibly even getting traded to another team before the start of the season. That's not out of the question. But as we sit here in May, Fields has to be wishing he was traded to just about any other situation around the league, a situation with a clearer shot at immediate playing time than he has now.