Eagles' Kenny Pickett confident how he 'handled' Steelers exit

Pickett, 25, was traded to the Eagles on Friday along with a 2024 fourth-round pick.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Eagles' Kenny Pickett confident how he 'handled' Steelers exit
Eagles' Kenny Pickett confident how he 'handled' Steelers exit | Watch the full news conference

PHILADELPHIA -- New Eagles quarterback Kenny Pickett pushed back on reports that he handled the addition of Russell Wilson poorly in Pittsburgh, leading to a trade from the Steelers.

"I think the communication is what it is. It was behind closed doors. I'm confident in the way that I handled it. I handled it the way I should have handled it," Pickett said at his introductory news conference Monday. "I'm excited to be here. It worked out so well that Philly was the place I ended up landing in. Everything happens for a reason and I'm right where I'm supposed to be."

Pickett, 25, was traded to the Eagles on Friday along with a 2024 fourth-round pick. The Steelers received a 2024 third-round pick (No. 98) and two 2025 seventh-round picks.

READ MORE: Eagles obtain QB Kenny Pickett from Pittsburgh Steelers in pick swap: ESPN

The deal happened not long after Wilson was signed by the Steelers. A report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Pickett did not deal well with the acquisition of Wilson, who is expected to be the Steelers' starter -- even with the arrival of Justin Fields.

"I just thought it was time," Pickett said about why he wanted a fresh start. "... I wanted to get a chance to go somewhere else and continue to grow my career. The fact that it is in Philly, the place that I grew up, found the love for the game here, with a great coaching staff, great players ... I think it's an awesome opportunity to join this team."

Pickett, a New Jersey native, grew up an Eagles fan. Philadelphia showed interest in Pickett when he was coming out of Pitt but the Eagles ended up selecting defensive tackle Jordan Davis at No. 13 overall. Pickett ended up going No. 20 to the Steelers.

He went 14-10 over 24 starts for the Steelers, completing 63% of his throws while tossing 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

He's now part of a quarterback room that is led by Jalen Hurtsandalso includes Tanner McKee, whom the team remains high on.

Pickett dealt with a high ankle sprain late in the 2023 season that required surgery. Reports stated that he refused the role of backup to Mason Rudolph late in the year as his health progressed, something Pickett also pushed back on Monday.

"I think that goes back to a lot of the communication behind closed doors that didn't go .... how it was getting released," Pickett said. "There was a plan there for that game. It went down exactly as it was planned to go down that entire week. I was coming off the ankle surgery, so it is what it is. Like I've been saying, though, very happy to be here."