Steelers Trade Kenny Pickett: A Shift in Quarterback Strategy

Pittsburgh Steelers trade Kenny Pickett after 24 starts

After 24 starts, the Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to part ways with Kenny Pickett, their former No. 20 pick and touted college record-breaker introduced by owner Art Rooney II over 600 days ago. Pickett’s trade to the Philadelphia Eagles, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, came shortly after the Steelers welcomed Russell Wilson into their ranks, signaling a strategic shift rather than a complete organizational overhaul.

The decision to move on from Pickett reflects a recognition of past missteps and a failure to establish a clear succession plan behind former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers’ focus on nostalgia and reluctance to prepare adequately for the future contributed to this outcome.

By signing Russell Wilson, the Steelers aim to avoid starting from scratch entirely. Wilson, despite being 35 years old, brings valuable experience and stability as a bridge quarterback, especially coming off a productive season with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

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The Steelers’ quarterback dilemma traces back to their handling of the position after Roethlisberger’s retirement. The team’s failure to invest significant draft capital in quarterbacks led to a lack of depth and foresight, culminating in the need to trade Pickett after just 24 starts.

Moving forward, the Steelers have an opportunity to redefine their approach to the quarterback position and pursue options like Justin Fields, a former first-round quarterback who could benefit from learning behind a seasoned professional like Wilson. General Manager Omar Khan’s willingness to explore all avenues reflects a departure from traditional Steelers’ strategies, signaling a fresh start for the franchise.

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