Steelers Writer Believes QB’s Career With Team Is ‘All but Over’ - Sport News

Steelers Writer Believes QB’s Career With Team Is ‘All but Over’

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2024 offseason knowing they needed to improve at quarterback.

Kenny Pickett: Season Grade

The team’s QBs had thrown just 24 touchdown passes in 34 regular season games over the previous two seasons and Kenny Pickett had yet to prove that he could be their franchise QB.

They wasted no time finding the improvement they needed.

Late on March 10, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Steelers agreed to a deal with former Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.

It’s a move that immediately improves the team for the 2024 season, but it’s also a move that changes a lot for Pickett.

In fact, The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly believes the move means Pickett’s Steelers career “is all but over.”

“Rudolph will likely sign elsewhere, and make no mistake about it, Pickett’s career as a Pittsburgh Steeler is all but over. The Steelers have to decide on Pickett’s fifth-year option next May. I suppose a colossal Wilson failure coupled with a late-season Pickett push could change the youngster’s trajectory, but that’s asking a lot.”

Things Changed Quickly for Steelers

For much of the offseason, the Steelers had stuck with the idea that Pickett would be their starting quarterback in 2024.

Even recently, the front office had expressed confidence that Pickett was still the guy and continued to place some blame for his struggles on former offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

The team’s confidence level in Pickett seemed to change pretty quickly.

They set up a meeting with Wilson shortly after the Broncos announced his impending release on March 4, and an agreement was reached by March 10.

In reality, it was an opportunity the team couldn’t pass up as they got a nine-time Pro Bowler for the league minimum after suffering through bad QB play for the last two seasons.

Still, it leaves Pickett with a lot of uncertainty about his future, although that future might not be as bleak as it seems right now.

Kenny Pickett’s Chances at a Future in Pittsburgh

There is still a chance that Pickett could have a future in Pittsburgh and it doesn’t necessarily require Wilson to implode during the 2024 season.

For right now, Pickett and the Steelers are kind of stuck with each other. He is under a four-year, $14 million contract until at least the end of the 2025 season and that deal is fully guaranteed.

His trade market is also likely not all that robust right now after a rough first two seasons.

Wilson is also not getting any younger. He is 35 years old and will turn 36 during the 2024 season, and Pittsburgh is also only committed to him for one year.

With all of that in play, it’s easy to see a scenario where Wilson declines and the Steelers decide that they don’t want a second year with him under center.

Meanwhile, Pickett will have spent a year developing on the bench and learning from a nine-time Pro Bowler.

This whole situation could end with Pickett’s last chance to prove that he should be the Steelers’ QB having just been pushed back a year.

Wilson could also play really well in 2024 and earn himself another contract with the Steelers, but there is at least still a chance that Pickett will get one more opportunity to prove himself before having to look for a spot on another team.

What happens then will depend on how much Pickett can improve during his year on the bench.

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