The Pittsburgh Steelers have conveyed nothing but confidence in starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. But Pickett hasn’t played well enough to silence rumors that the Steelers could move on from the second-year signal caller at the end of the 2023 season.
Bet Online has Pittsburgh’s odds at landing Murray currently set at 9-to-1. The New England Patriots hold the best odds at getting Murray at 5-to-1.
Murray signed a five-year, $230.5 million contract on July 21, 2022. Of that amount, the contract fully guarantees roughly $160 million.
That contract will very likely make any trade for Murray complicated. Coming into the 2023 season, the total value of Murray’s contract was ranked eighth-highest in the NFL.
But Murray has yet to play this season because of a torn ACL he suffered in December 2022.
Steelers to be in QB Market This Offseason?
Pickett has left something to be desired since becoming the starter in Pittsburgh.
In 21 NFL games, he has completed 62.4% of his passes for 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He’s averaging 6.3 yards per pass and 10.6 yards per completion.
Pickett showed steady growth late in 2022. That translated into a preseason that saw Pickett post a perfect passer rating, but it hasn’t translated into the regular season.
In 2023, Pickett’s completion percentage and quarterback rating are lower than what they were during his rookie season. His yards per attempt average has only made a marginal jump from 6.2 to 6.5.
But, Pickett has left his best for the fourth quarter. He has recorded six fourth-quarter comebacks in 12 victories during his career. Pickett is tied for the league-lead with 3 fourth-quarter comebacks this year.
He is 12-8 as an NFL starter, which is significantly better than Murray’s 25-31-1 mark in the league. Pickett has led the Steelers to a 5-3 record this season despite the team having been outgained in every contest.
For those reasons, it’s unlikely the Steelers will give up on Pickett following the 2023 season.
“What is his rating in the fourth quarter?” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in response to a reporter on November 7 who asked about his rating in the first three quarters of games. “Well, just ask it from that perspective.
“He’s awesome in the fourth quarter. Man, he rises up in those moments. He wants to be the reason why we’re successful. He prepares his tail off. In some instances, when people run from challenges, he runs to challenges. So, that’s why his performance is so good in the fourth. Those other quarters we’ll work on.”
Kyler Murray Set to Return for Cardinals
In addition to it being unlikely that the Steelers consider replacing Pickett this offseason, it’s unclear if Murray will be available.
If anything, the past couple weeks have pointed to Murray being in Arizona’s long-term plans.
Dobbs started the first eight games for the Cardinals this season.
He is expected to make his season debut versus the Falcons in Week 10.
If Murray returns and plays at a Pro Bowl level, it will be more difficult to foresee Arizona willing to depart with the 26-year-old signal caller.
Murray has 13,848 passing yards, 84 touchdowns and 41 interceptions in 57 NFL games. He’s averaged 7 yards per attempt and 5.8 yards per carry with 23 rushing touchdowns.
Murray made the Pro Bowl in 2020 and 2021. The Cardinals went 17-13 with Murray as their starter during those seasons.