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Steelers plan to build around Kenny Pickett

Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) takes the field against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

From searching for the quarterback of the future to replace Ben Roethlisberger one year ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a much different position entering the 2023 draft.

The Steelers drafted Kenny Pickett 20th overall in 2022. After beginning last season as a backup to Mitchell Trubisky, Pickett proved not only worthy of the starting spot but showed Pittsburgh’s front office he was the team’s franchise quarterback.

“We have our quarterback,” Steelers GM Omar Khan said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“His growth, his leadership. It was so much fun to watch as the season went on. He really gets the guys around him to rally, rally around him. It’s exciting.”

The other plus from a roster-building perspective is Pickett’s salary. While the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL make $35 million or more, Pickett counts a mere $3.1 million against the Steelers’ salary cap in 2023.

“When a guy is on a rookie contract, there are certain advantages,” Khan said.

–Field Level Media

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