Steelers decline Najee Harris’ fifth-year option: Source

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have declined the fifth-year option on running back Najee Harris, the team’s 2021 first-round pick, a team source confirmed Thursday. This would make Harris eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.

The team also opted not to give newly acquired quarterback Justin Fields a fifth-year option, according to a team source, only months after being traded to the team from the Chicago Bears.

Harris, 26, has compiled three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons as the team’s primary running back since being taken No. 24 in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s rushed for 3,269 yards on 834 carries with 22 rushing touchdowns. Not known as a receiving back, the former Alabama standout still caught six touchdowns (none in 2023) during his Pittsburgh tenure.

He earned a Pro Bowl nod during his rookie season, but saw his carries drop a touch in Years 2 and 3 (2021: 307, 2022: 272, 2023: 255). Jaylen Warren, who’s entering his third season with the Steelers, watched his carries jump from 77 in 2022 to 144 in 2023 with 784 yards and four TDs last year.

This was a more expected move considering Fields will battle Russell Wilson for the starting job this offseason.

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(Photo: Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

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