Kenny Pickett Breaks Silence on Eagles Trade With Message to Steelers

Kenny Pickett has a message for the Pittsburgh Steelers following his trade to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kenny Pickett

A couple days following his trade to the Eagles — the Steelers will receive Philadelphia’s 2024 third-round pick at No. 98 overall and two 2025 seventh-round picks with the Eagles also receiving a 2024 fourth-round pick at No. 120 overall — Pickett is sending a goodbye message to the city of Pittsburgh.

“Thank you, Pittsburgh! I came to this city 7 years ago and my life changed forever,” wrote Pickett over Instagram on Sunday, March 17. “Grateful for all of the amazing people I was fortunate enough to cross paths with, and for all of those who supported me along the way. I made life-long friendships and relationships that I will always cherish. Now, I am honored and excited for the next opportunity in my career — being able to play for the team that helped me find my love for the game as a kid. Go Birds!!”

Kenny Pickett Grew up as Eagles Fan in New Jersey

The end of his message obviously references his fandom of the Eagles while growing up in nearby New Jersey. The 25-year-old quarterback actually reacted to his trade to Philadelphia just hours after it happened on Friday, posting a picture of himself as a kid whole holding up a Donovan McNabb jersey.

Why Kenny Pickett Was Traded From Steelers

The end of Pickett’s tenure in Pittsburgh came shortly after the signing of Russell Wilson. While it was expected that both quarterbacks would compete for the starting job in training camp, it appears Pickett wasn’t too happy about the arrival of the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

According to a report from Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pickett was traded to the Eagles “because of his behavior and expressed unhappiness” over the signing of Wilson.

“Despite being 14-10 as a starter and getting to work with new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Pickett was traded because of his behavior and expressed unhappiness over the arrival of Wilson, a nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback who won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, sources told the Post-Gazette,” wrote Dulac on Friday, March 15.

Pickett will now go to a situation in Philadelphia where he’ll likely be the No. 2 quarterback behind Jalen Hurts, who is established as the franchise passer after signing a then-record $255 million contract during the 2023 offseason.

While Pickett was 14-10 as a starting quarterback in Pittsburgh and actually led three game-winning drives and three comebacks during the 2023 season, his production was extremely lacking. His 1.8% touchdown rate is actually the lowest among quarterbacks with at least 22 starts since the 1970 merger, according to Kate Magdziuk of SB Nation’s Behind The Steel Curtain. He also ranks near the bottom in other major passing categories such as passing yards per completion and passing yards per attempt.

The fact that the Steelers went 3-0 while clinching a playoff berth with a career backup in Mason Rudolph only cemented the idea that Pickett wasn’t the franchise quarterback that Pittsburgh needed.

With that being said, Pickett is a former first-round draft pick who has shown a penchant for winning. Maybe a change of scenery can revive his career and help him develop as a quarterback before he starts again.

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