Eagles’ Kenny Pickett Sounds off on Steelers Exit

Kenny Pickett

Getty Eagles QB Kenny Pickett defends his exit from the Steelers.

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ newest quarterback, Kenny Pickett, isn’t holding back in his thoughts on being traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While speaking to the media for the first time since his trade, Pickett opened up on the Steelers’ trade just two years after selecting him with a first-round draft choice.

“I just thought it was time,” Pickett said when asked if he was seeking a new start. “It just felt like it was time, from things that transpired. I wanted to get a chance to go somewhere else and continue to grow my career.”

Why Kenny Pickett Was Traded From Steelers

There had been a report shortly after the trade that Pickett was dealt because he was unhappy with the signing of Russell Wilson. It was expected that both quarterbacks would compete for the starting job.

Via Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“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,” writes Dulac.

Due to Pickett’s reaction to the signing, Pittsburgh ended up dealing the 25-year-old quarterback and a third-round pick in exchange for a fourth-round pick and a pair of 2025 seventh-round picks. Hours after dealing Pickett, the Steelers made a move for former Chicago Bears starting quarterback Justin Fields.

Kenny Pickett Defends How He Handled Exit With Steelers

Pickett – who threw just 13 touchdowns against 13 interceptions during his two years as Steelers starter – says he handled his exit from the Steelers in the right way.

“The communication is what it is, it was behind closed doors,” Pickett said. “I’m confident in the way that I handled it. I handled it the way I should’ve handled it. I’m excited to be here. … I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”

The Steelers’ trade of Pickett is the fastest they’ve moved on from a No. 1 draft pick since they released tackle Jamain Stephens after two seasons with the team.

Pickett – who grew up in New Jersey and as a Steelers fan – stressed that he wants to go back to having fun.

“This thing is a good reset,” Pickett said. “I wanna get back to having fun. … It’s a great environment here, with these coaches and these players, so that’s what I wanna get back to.”

Damien Woody Blasts Kenny Pickett for Steelers Exit

One former player and ESPN analyst doesn’t support how Pickett exited from Pittsburgh.

The two-time Super Bowl champion and former 12-year veteran sounded off on Pickett’s departure from Pittsburgh, arguing that he wanted out because he didn’t want to compete with Wilson for the starting job.

“Bro, you didn’t want to compete with Russell Wilson? Russell Wilson, who went from the Seahawks to the Broncos and now to the Pttsburgh Steelers in a matter of few years? And you running away from competition, that tells me more about you than anything,” said Woody while appearing on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Monday, March 18.

Instead of competing for a starting job this training camp, Pickett will instead step in as the backup quarterback to Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.

Read More