James Conner Speaks on Steelers Future Entering Contract Year

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 22:  James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, James Conner says he hopes to remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers beyond 2020. 

On The Adam Schefter Podcast (h/t Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper), Conner explained why it "would be hard" for him to wear another jersey in the NFL:

"Just because of everything and what this city means to me. The city I played my college ball in, the city I had my life saved in, became healthy. The city I got drafted to and I want to be able to say the city I brought a championship to. It would be hard. I'm Pittsburgh through and through. But like I said, I'm big on my faith so I'm always going to end up doing and being where I'm supposed to be through the Lord's guidance and direction. We'll see. We'll take it one day at a time; I'm staying in the moment."

Conner's ties to Pennsylvania extend beyond his time with the Steelers. He was born in Erie and went to high school there before playing college football at the University of Pittsburgh. 

When he was a junior in 2015, Conner's season ended in the Panthers' first game because of a torn MCL. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma that November and went through chemotherapy before being declared cancer-free six months later. 

After he ran for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior, the Steelers selected Conner in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft. 

There have been no rumors or speculation about the Steelers engaging Conner in contract talks. He will earn $825,000 this season, per Spotrac.

The 25-year-old has recorded 2,185 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns in 23 games during the past two seasons since taking over as the team's starting running back.