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Eagles acquire Kenny Pickett in a trade with the Steelers

Kenny Pickett
Kenny Pickett

The Eagles understand as well as any team the importance of depth at the quarterback position. They also know how important it is to monitor moves around the league and recognize the potential fallout.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers added veteran Russell Wilson to be their new quarterback, the Eagles saw a valuable opportunity to gauge what it would take to acquire 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett, who was the team's starter to open the 2023 season, to back up Jalen Hurts.

It turns out, the Steelers were willing to move on from Pickett and focus on supporting Wilson.

The Eagles announced on Saturday morning that they have agreed to terms on a trade to acquire Pickett, the No. 20 overall pick two years ago, along with a 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 120 overall), in exchange for a 2024 third-round pick (No. 98 overall) and a pair of 2025 seventh-round picks. The trade is pending a physical. The Eagles maintain their total of eight selections in next month's NFL Draft. The last time that the Eagles secured a veteran quarterback in a trade was August 2021 when Gardner Minshew was added to provide experience and depth behind Hurts.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Pickett gets a fresh start on the other side of the state, playing for the team he grew up cheering for in his youth. Born in Oakhurst, New Jersey, Pickett attended Eagles games with his dad, Ken, and even recalled meeting Eagles Hall of Fame quarterback Donovan McNabb at a fan festival as a kid.

Before being selected as the first quarterback off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft by Pittsburgh, Pickett was a star at the University of Pittsburgh, where he finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting after guiding the Panthers to the 2021 ACC Championship and a No. 13 final ranking. Pickett's 4,319 passing yards, 42 passing touchdowns, 47 total touchdowns, and 334 completions set school single-season marks.

He finished his college career as Pitt's all-time leader in wins (32), passing yards (12,303), pass completions (1,045), total offense (13,112), TD responsibility (102), and passing TDs (81).

The soon-to-be 26-year-old made his NFL debut in Week 4 of his rookie season and set a franchise record for most passing yards (327) in a first career start the following week against the Buffalo Bills. Pickett became the fourth rookie quarterback to pick up a victory in their first start at home since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and the eighth rookie in NFL history to defeat QB Tom Brady in Week 6 vs. Tampa Bay.

Pickett showed a ton of promise throwing just one interception in his last eight starts of the season. The Steelers won six of their final seven games to finish 9-8 overall. Pickett led all NFL rookies with 2,404 passing yards and joined Ben Roethlisberger (2,621 in 2004) as the only rookies in Steelers history to ever pass for 2,000 or more yards.

This past year, Pickett started the first 12 games and completed 62 percent of his attempts for 2,070 yards with six touchdowns against four interceptions, winning seven of those starts. He suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers went on a three-game win streak to end the season with Mason Rudolph at quarterback and decided to ride the hot hand into the playoffs, where they lost to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card Round.

In two seasons, Pickett was 14-10 as a starter, completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 4,474 yards with 13 touchdowns against 13 interceptions.

The Eagles now have Hurts, Pickett, and Tanner McKee at quarterback. Marcus Mariota, last year's No. 2, signed with Washington in free agency.

Get your first look at the 2024 Eagles additions. While they may be sporting different colors now, these players will be wearing Eagles jerseys in 2024!

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