The lone first-round quarterback is under contract.
The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to terms with quarterback Kenny Pickett on his rookie deal, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Thursday, per a source.
As with all first-round contracts, the four-year deal comes with a fifth-year team option. Since rookie contracts became slotted, providing few negotiating points, holdouts are few and far between for first-year players. So while it took some time to get the QB under contract, missing time was never in the cards.
Pickett was the only quarterback taken in the first round of the 2022 draft when he was selected at No. 20.
The Steelers had not selected a first-round quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Pickett is looking to succeed the recently retired Big Ben as Pittsburgh’s next franchise quarterback.
While he took third-team reps during most offseason workouts, Pickett is expected to battle Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph for the QB1 gig during training camp. If he’s close to the two veterans in terms of grasping the playbook and making good reads, expect the rookie to get the benefit of the doubt.
A Pitt product who practiced at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex throughout college, Pickett was viewed as the most draft-ready QB prospect in the 2022 class. The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award-winner threw for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns as a senior and became just the second Pitt quarterback drafted in the first round — Hall of Famer Dan Marino (1983).
Pickett fell to Pittsburgh at No. 20, the latest the first quarterback was selected in a draft since the San Francisco 49ers chose Jim Druckenmiller in 1997.
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