The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't begin negotiating a trade for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields until after incumbent Kenny Pickett requested his own fresh start, according to ESPN. And apparently Fields also had other plans in mind, with ESPN reporting Friday the former first-round draft pick had three additional teams on his radar ahead of 2024 free agency.

The Steelers, of course, were one of those teams; while Russell Wilson is in "pole position" to start for Pittsburgh, per coach Mike Tomlin, Fields is set to have a chance to compete for first-team reps after three years in Chicago. Otherwise, according to ESPN, the Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings were also preferred destinations in the quarterback's eyes.

Atlanta ultimately moved quickly to sign former Vikings starter Kirk Cousins in free agency, while Minnesota added Sam Darnold and acquired an additional first-round pick for April's draft, paving the way for a potential double-dip at the position. Las Vegas, meanwhile, signed free agent Gardner Minshew to a two-year deal and is expected to consider drafting a quarterback as well.

In the end, Fields went to the Steelers in exchange for a conditional 2025 sixth-round draft pick, clearing the way for the Bears to use the No. 1 pick in the draft on a new signal-caller. As the trade was being finalized, per ESPN, the Steelers communicated to both Fields and Wilson regarding their plans for the position, noting the latter would begin the offseason in the driver's seat for the top gig but leaving the door open for a future competition.

"Rest assured, when it's time to compete," Tomlin later told reporters, "Justin will (be) given an opportunity to compete and we'll allow those guys to sort themselves out. But I thought it was appropriate to describe it in a way for when we get started. Russell's in pole position, and I think his body of work justifies that. And just from my conversations with Justin, he is excited about working alongside Russell and learning some of those veteran tricks of the trade ... behind a guy who has been around for over a decade."