Steelers Decline RB Najee Harris's Fifth-Year Option for 2025 Season, per Report

Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) runs with the ball.
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) runs with the ball. / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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The Pittsburgh Steelers will not pick up the fifth-year option on running back Najee Harris's rookie contract, ESPN's Brooke Pryor reported Thursday.

This decision will make Harris an unrestricted free agent after the 2024 NFL season unless a deal is reached prior to the conclusion of the year. The Steelers have not ruled out the option of signing Harris to a new deal down the road, Pryor added, but there doesn't seem to be a rush to make a choice on him right now.

Harris has carried the ball at least 250 times in all three of his seasons, making him the only NFL player to do so in the last three years. He also has rushed for over 1,000 yards in all three campaigns, becoming the first Steelers player in franchise history to do so.

Harris's rookie year was his best to date, as he carried the ball 307 times for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns.

Harris will take handoffs from a new Steelers quarterback in 2024 in veteran Russell Wilson. Last season, he played alongside Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph as the Steelers dealt with uncertainty at quarterback throughout the year.


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Madison Williams

MADISON WILLIAMS

Madison Williams is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where she has covered the entire sports landscape since 2022. She specializes in tennis, but covers a wide range of sports from a national perspective. Before joining Sports Illustrated, Madison worked with The Sporting News. She hails from Augustana College and completed a Master’s in Sports Media at Northwestern University. Madison is a dog mom and an avid reader.