Pittsburgh Steelers' running back Najee Harris has not been the same player he was in his rookie season. He has dropped down in production in terms of rushing yards, yards per game, and is not the receiving back he was back in 2021. Not only did he fail to get above 200 receiving yards this season, he was not able to get into the endzone through the air as well. Harris is not the overall worst option on a fantasy team, but his ceiling is lower than what it was coming out of Alabama.
As he heads into his fourth season, the Steelers will have to make a decision on whether or not to pick up his fifth-year option. If Pittsburgh chooses not to pick up the fifth-year option, then the 2024 season could be Harris' last season in Pittsburgh.
Luckily, Harris has an upside heading into next season. The Steelers recently hired former Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, who served as the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans where they went all the way to the AFC championship game and running back Derrick Henry had the second-best statistical year of his career (1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns). Not to mention, quarterback Ryan Tannehill stepped in for the Titans and looked like a top-five quarterback in the conference.
Harris might have been given a gift with Smith calling the offensive plays. However, he will still have to outduel his teammate Jaylen Warren, who serves as a great pass-catching back for the Steelers.
Will Harris succeed under Smith in the Steelers' offense?
Smith may not have been able to utilize the talent that the Falcons have, but Atlanta was not afraid to run the ball between Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier. The quarterback spot in Pittsburgh might be up for grabs and unless the Steelers find a way to land a great quarterback prospect or sign a stable veteran, there is no reason why the Pittsburgh rushing attack shouldn't be the go-to style for the Steelers.
Enter Harris into this situation where he could easily see his last year in Pittsburgh. If 2024 becomes a contract year for him, expect him to go off and show his talents to earn his second NFL contract.