Steelers’ GM Provides Update On Najee Harris’ Contract Status

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris is entering the final year of his rookie deal, meaning that that the Steelers will soon have to make a decision on his fifth-year option.

Harris would earn $6.79 in 2025 if Pittsburgh opts to exercise the option, and the organization has until the first week of May to make that decision.

As of right now, Steelers general manager Omar Khan seems undecided on which direction the franchise will take regarding the halfback.

“We have until the first week in May to make a decision,” Khan said, via Josh Carney of Steelers Depot. “We have a new offensive coordinator, so that’s gonna play into the decision-making process. We’re having conversations with Arthur. It’s been great. We’ve been engaging frequently — coach Tomlin and Arthur and I — we’ve kind of been talking about the offense and what the vision is for it. And we think very highly of Najee and we’ll make the decision before May 2.”

Harris, who played his collegiate football at the University of Alabama, was selected by Pittsburgh with the 24th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

He immediately stepped into a large role during his rookie campaign, racking up 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. However, he averaged a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry, which would become a recurring theme for him in the early stages of his career. But, Harris made up for his lack of efficiency by hauling in 74 receptions for 467 yards and three scores, and he made the Pro Bowl.

The following year, Harris registered 1,034 yards and seven scores as a rusher, logging 3.8 yards per attempt. He added 41 catches for 229 yards while reaching the end zone three times as a receiver.

Then, this past season, the 25-year-old rushed for 1,035 yards and eight touchdowns while recording 4.1 yards per tote. His receiving numbers dipped significantly, as he snared just 29 balls for 170 yards.

Harris’ shoddy efficiency and decline as a receiver could certainly play a role in the Steelers’ decision, but his durability (he has never missed a game) and penchant for wearing down defenses definitely have value.

We’ll see what Pittsburgh opts to do with Najee Harris over the next couple of months.

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