Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett had a rather rough sophomore campaign, and this week, head coach Mike Tomlin shared his thoughts on Pickett’s status for next season.
“There’s always competition in this thing. We don’t anoint anyone,” Tomlin said when asked about Pickett’s status as a starting quarterback, via the Steelers’ official YouTube account. “Man, I’m appreciative of his efforts and where he is and excited about continuing to work with him.”
Pickett made 12 starts this season before injuring his ankle in Week 13. He underwent surgery, but he was still expected to return later in the year. Instead, he was supplanted by Mason Rudolph and never got his starting job back.
During his time on the field in 2023, Pickett threw for 2,070 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 62 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 81.4.
“But certainly, he will be challenged from a competition perspective moving forward,” added Tomlin. “Competition brings the best out in all of us.”
Rudolph is slated to hit free agency this offseason, so Pickett’s competition may not come from him. There has been speculation that the Steelers could look to trade for a quarterback, whether that means moving up in the draft order or trying to swing a deal for someone like Chicago Bears signal-caller Justin Fields.
Whatever the case may be, Kenny Pickett’s future in Pittsburgh is certainly not firm.
The 25-year-old was selected by the Steelers with the 20th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. In 12 starts during his rookie campaign, he totaled 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns and nine picks.
Pittsburgh went 10-7 this season and lost to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.