In the midst of a challenging regular season marked by losses to the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Steelers relied on the commendable leadership of Mike Tomlin to secure a playoff berth. However, their postseason journey was short-lived as the Buffalo Bills dashed their Super Bowl aspirations in the wild card round.
Now, with their sights set on a fresh start, the Steelers are determined to address the quarterback situation that led to the decision to part ways with starter Mitch Trubisky.
Trubisky’s departure: expected yet significant
The Steelers and Mitchell Trubisky reached a mutual decision to part ways. The move was made strategically to provide Trubisky with an early start to explore opportunities in free agency, as reported by multiple sources.
Despite having two years remaining on his three-year, $19.4 million contract signed in May of the previous year, the Steelers and Trubisky opted for this timely separation.
Trubisky joined the Steelers in 2022 as a free agent but lost his starting position to Kenny Pickett last season. His tenure with the Steelers saw him play in five games during the last season, including two starts, with mixed results. Trubisky completed 62.6% of his pass attempts, accumulating 632 yards at an average of 5.9 yards per attempt. Unfortunately, the team faced losses in both games he started.
Over the course of 12 games in Pittsburgh, seven of which he started, the former Steelers’ player put forward a completion rate of 64.1%, amassing 1,884 yards, eight touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Notably, he contributed four rushing touchdowns during his time with the franchise.
Meanwhile, in addition to Trubisky, the Pittsburgh team also bid farewell to punter Pressley Harvin III and offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor as part of their offseason moves.
Is Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers’ future QB?
The decision to part ways with Trubisky has left Kenny Pickett as the sole quarterback under contract for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as Mason Rudolph is also set to become a free agent in the upcoming season. Meanwhile, the team expresses immense trust in Pickett and is expected to maintain their ties with him moving forward.
However, it’s anticipated that the Steelers will seek to acquire another quarterback either through free agency or the draft in the offseason. Consequently, it appears unlikely that Pickett will secure the position of the No. 1 quarterback for the upcoming season without facing stiff competition.
Head coach Mike Tomlin emphasized his desire for a quarterback competition during his season-ending news conference, affirming his appreciation for Pickett’s efforts while also acknowledging the need for challenges.
“There will be competition. I’m appreciative of [Pickett’s] efforts and where he is and excited to continue working with him. But certainly, he will be challenged from a competition perspective moving forward,” he said.
Despite some changes in coaching staff, with offensive coordinator Matt Canada leaving, Pickett had a solid season, starting in 12 games and helping the Steelers to a 7-5 record. During these games, he threw for 2,070 yards, with six touchdowns and four interceptions.