One would think that a probable staple to the Pittsburgh Steelers offense for the coming years is Najee Harris. He was blazing right out of his rookie campaign and has been big for Mike Tomlin's squad. However, Omar Khan and the rest of the front office has not quite decided if they want to keep him. They have not drafted anyone at running back for the NFL Draft which is why they could be retaining him. However, members of the organization have remained shut about why they declined their fifth-year option as well. So, what's the situation? Will Jaylen Warren be the next man up?

It's quite confusing if the Steelers want Najee Harris to test out his value in the market or if they want to immediately retain him. However, Mike Tomlin outlined that there are a lot of factors for why the organization made the call for their running back, via 93.7 The Fan.

“It can reflect a lot of things, but there’s probably some depth to those waters. Sometimes it’s positional related and things of that nature. There’s a business component of this, of all decisions that we make. So, there are layers to it. I’m not gonna try to characterize it in simplicity; that would probably be inappropriate,” the Steelers head honcho declared.

Mike Tomlin might be echoing the same sentiment as Omar Khan. The Steelers could be moving on eventually from Najee Harris as well as trying to develop Jaylen Warren in their offense a bit more. After all, they got more help from a schematic mastermind in Arthur Smith as offensive coordinator.

What did the Steelers GM say about the situation?

Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) runs the ball in the first half against the Buffalo Bills in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
© Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Khan is leaving it up to the Steelers coaching staff to decide whether they think Harris still fits into the offense. Else, they can probably shop him to other teams rather than make him hit free agency down the line. For a running back who notches more than 1,000 rushing yards per season, the Steelers are likely getting a hefty package or could just straight up trade him for another win-now star.

The Steelers' general manager was very vocal as to why they haven't picked up Harris' deal just yet.

“We have until the first week in May to make a decision. 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,” he said

Harris put up 1,035 rushing yards while attempting to start up the Steelers' run game 255 times. His efforts have netted the squad a 4.1 average gain while also helping them speed to the end zone eight times in the past season. All of these are invaluable numbers that other squads may want if the Steelers don't pick him up.

Regardless of the decision, Jaylen Warren should be getting ready in case negotiations lead to a holdout.