Report: Eagles make a bold trade for Kenny Pickett of the Steelers to be the team’s QB2

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

There’s been a ton of hot takes regarding Justin Fields being the best suitor to be the Eagles’ backup quarterback next season. Those takes have essentially been extinguished as the team made a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers for quarterback Kenny Pickett this afternoon.

The Eagles receive the former 20th overall pick by the Steelers in the 2022 NFL Draft along with 120th overall pick in this year’s draft in exchange for the 98th pick and two, 2025 7th-rounders. There’s also reports out that Pickett did not handle himself well once the Steelers agreed to sign Russell Wilson, prompting the team to move off from the former first-round pick just two years into his career.

The 25-year-old was a feel-good story when he was drafted by the Steelers, having the chance to play in the same stadium he played in during his collegiate career at Pitt, as a pro, and was beloved by the city after leading the Panthers to their first ACC Championship in 2021 and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting.

He will have a homecoming with his journey to Philadelphia, growing up as an Eagles fan and a native of Ocean Township, New Jersey.

However, the young quarterback has struggled since making the jump to the NFL. Last season in 12 games, he had a completion percentage of 62% for 2,070 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions, ultimately losing his job to Mason Rudolph. In his rookie year in 2022, he played in 13 games and made 12 starts, throwing for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 63% of his passes and finished sixth in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.

Better backup option for the Eagles?

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) throws the ball during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

A cheaper option than Marcus Mariota who signed a $6 million guaranteed contract with Washington, and with the team needing a backup, adding Pickett could be a savvy move for the Eagles as he is also under control for the next two years.

The Eagles like to have backup quarterbacks who show upside and have experience winning games. Pickett has done that in his young career with a 14-10 record, despite his career stats not being the best on paper. Perhaps a change of scenery will help Pickett, as he will push Hurts, he will most likely want to prove he can still be a viable option at quarterback down the road.

AP Photo/Matt Freed