Rumor: This interesting twist could decide Steelers’ Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky competition
The Pittsburgh Steelers entered into a new era this offseason following the retirement of longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Forced to search for a signal-caller for the first time since the 2004 offseason, the Steelers opted against swinging for the fences, instead bringing in free agent and former first round pick Mitch Trubisky, then spending a first round selection of their own on Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. The Steelers are expected to conduct a quarterback competition, with Trubisky and Pickett expected to be the two favorites for the job over Mason Rudolph. However, could there a be a clue already as to who could emerge out of the competition with the starting quarterback job? Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer pointed out this interesting twist.
Add it up, and there’s more incentive there for the Steelers not to play Trubisky, especially since all the playing-time incentives he hits this year will count against the 2023 cap.
As Breer points out, Trubisky’s contract stands to pay him as much as $4 million more in incentives if he starts 80 percent of the snaps and the Steelers make the playoffs.
Those are big ifs, though there’s reason to believe that Pittsburgh may opt against going with Trubisky if he and Pickett exit the preseason neck-and-neck in the competition.
If Pittsburgh looks at Pickett as the future guy- and it appears that they do given the draft capital they spent to select him- why would they hamstring their ability to build the best possible team around him in 2023 with the burden of Trubisky’s incentives on the books?
It’s a fascinating angle to look at the Steelers’ quarterback competition from. It remains to be seen if it affects the franchise’s decision making when it comes to the Pickett-Trubisky quarterback battle.