Steelers have deadline for signing Russell Wilson, Justin Fields to extensions?

    During an appearance on Pittsburgh sports radio station 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan indicated the club’s long-standing policy of not negotiating deals with players during the season will continue even though quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields aren’t signed beyond the upcoming campaign.

    “I think it’s an awesome policy,” Khan explained, as shared by Matthew Marczi of Steelers Depot. “That policy predates even before [former general manager Kevin Colbert] and I got here. Once we get into the season, I’m a believer it should be all focused on football. Obviously, there’s a business aspect to this, and that’s okay. That’s just part of it. But once we get into the season, it’s to focus on the season.”

    It was previously thought the Steelers could replace the fifth-year option once attached to Fields’ rookie contract with a one-year extension similar to how the Green Bay Packers handled Jordan Love last spring. However, such takes were offered before Wilson emerged as the clear favorite of the two signal-callers to start Pittsburgh’s regular-season opener at the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 8.

    Wilson inked a team-friendly contract to join the Steelers in March but may need to prove he isn’t past his prime after flopping with the Denver Broncos over the past two seasons. He turns 36 this November, and Pittsburgh could start Fields in December to get a look at him if the club has a losing record.

    “From my standpoint, I can just tell you I’m more worried about the quarterback for this year, and the rest of it will take shape after the season,” Khan added during his comments. “But I’m focused on 2024 and winning that championship.”

    Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith insisted this week that Wilson and Fields are still competing for the starting job through this summer despite reports suggesting Wilson is already penciled in as the club’s QB1. Pittsburgh theoretically could sign Wilson or Fields to an extension between the final preseason game on Aug. 24 and the morning of Sept. 8, but that’s a tight window for contract talks. 

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