Kenny Pickett Sends Strong Message After Steelers Departure

Kenny Pickett

Getty Quarterback Kenny Pickett fired a goodbye message to the city of Pittsburgh after the Steelers traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Quarterback Kenny Pickett departs the Pittsburgh Steelers amid reports that he responded poorly to the team signing veteran Russell Wilson. But Pickett attempted to leave on a high note.

The 2022 first-round pick thanked Pittsburgh in a farewell message that he posted on Instagram on March 17.

“Thank you, Pittsburgh! I came to this city 7 years ago and my life changed forever,” wrote Pickett on Instagram. “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.”

The Steelers traded Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles essentially to exchange draft picks. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Steelers sent Pickett to Philadelphia along with this year’s No. 120 overall selection. In return, the Steelers received the No. 98 pick.

Philadelphia also sent Pittsburgh a pair of 2025 seventh-round choices in the trade.

A Controversial End to the Kenny Pickett Era With Steelers

Pickett’s social media goodbye is not likely to stop the narrative that he walked away from competition with the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac reported on March 15 that Pickett “canceled a scheduled out-of-town workout” with Steelers wide receivers the day after the team signed Wilson. Dulac also wrote that Pickett “refused to dress as the emergency third quarterback” after he lost his job to Mason Rudolph at the end of the 2023 season.

Wilson shared that he texted Pickett after he agreed to a contract with the Steelers. Wilson embraced a potential competition with Pickett while speaking to reporters at his introductory press conference.

The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly argued during an appearance on 93.7 The Fan with Jeff Hathhorn on March 16 that those reports will follow Pickett for the rest of his career.

“It’s a bad ending to what was a promising beginning here,” Kaboly said. “Kenny Pickett, like it or not, believe what you want to believe, if he was misled or felt like he wasn’t given a chance, this is going to be a black mark on his resume forever.

“If you give up, and that’s the perception the public has, of he took his ball and went home because things got tough for him, people are not gonna ever let him down.”

It’s the first time the Steelers departed ways with a first-round pick after only two seasons since they drafted offensive tackle Jamain Stephens in 1996.

Pickett Looking Forward to His Opportunity With the Philadelphia Eagles

Pickett concluded his farewell message to Pittsburgh by sharing his excitement about joining the Eagles.

“Now, I am honored and excited for the next opportunity in my career,” Pickett posted. “Being able to play for the team that helped me find my love for the game as a kid. Go Birds!!”’s DJ Siddiqi shared a picture of Pickett from his childhood in an Eagles jersey. Pickett posted the picture on his Instagram story shortly after the trade.

“Probably safe to say Kenny Pickett is more than happy to be an Eagles quarterback,” Siddiqi wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “Here’s a throwback of him holding a Donovan McNabb jersey.”

In a lot of social media farewells from NFL players nowadays, they will thank team owners, coaches, teammates and/or other members of their first NFL organization.

While Pickett’s goodbye was very cordial, there were no specific references to the Steelers.

In addition to two seasons with the Steelers, Pickett played college football at Pitt from 2017-21.

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