Steelers rumors: Insider pegs the perfect backup for Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) /

An NFL insider provided the perfect outside option for the Pittsburgh Steelers to bring in to backup Kenny Pickett.

The Pittsburgh Steelers believe they have their quarterback for the foreseeable future in Kenny Pickett, their first-round pick last year. General manager Omar Khan said as much. Pickett, despite dealing with concussions that forced him to miss some time, shined towards the end of the season, notably orchestrating two game-winning drives against the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens in Week 16 and 17, respectively.

With Pickett being the guy under center for the Steelers, the opportunity is now to bring in weapons and bolster their overall roster to make a push for a Super Bowl title. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to do so is to move on from Mitch Trubisky, who counts for $10.63 million against the cap in 2023. But it doesn’t seem like they will do so, based off owner Art Rooney and Khan’s comments.

The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly wrote a piece (subscription required) on logical free-agent options the Steelers can bring in this offseason for each position. At quarterback, Kaboly lists an option the Steelers can potentially as the third-string quarterback, and that is none other than Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew.

Gardner Minshew, backup quarterback for Steelers?

"“With Art Rooney II and Khan publicly showing support for Trubisky and his return, a perfect — yet unlikely — scenario would be to add a third-string guy like Minshew,” writes Kaboly. “He has started 24 games over four seasons, two with Jacksonville and the last two in Philadelphia. Assistant general manager Andy Weidl spent six years with the Eagles before being hired by the Steelers in May.”"

As Kaboly writes, bringing in Minshew seems unlikely, especially with the Steelers’ positive comments about Trubisky. But, the Steelers will have a void at the QB3 spot, as Mason Rudolph will be hitting free agency. Could they opt to bring in Minshew as a third-stringer? Or would they prefer to go the two-quarterback route with Pickett and Trubisky? Or perhaps there’s a trade to be made with Trubisky and Minshew could be the backup?

Minshew made a name for himself during his short time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his rookie season, he had a 6-6 record in 12 starts for the team. Through his 14 games played, Minshew threw for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions, while completing 60.6 percent of his passes.

After two seasons with the Jaguars, Minshew was dealt to the Eagles. He received two starts in 2021, earning a 1-1 record, with his win coming against the New York Jets. This past season, Minshew started in place of Jalen Hurts, who suffered a sprain to his throwing shoulder, but lost both of those games against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.

In his two years with the Eagles, Minshew recorded 1,102 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions on a 62.5 completion percentage.

Having Minshew as a backup would be ideal for the Steelers. While Minshew was a bit shaky this past season, he has shown that he can put up solid numbers when given opportunities. Will it actually happen? That remains to be seen, considering the Steelers’ comments about keeping Trubiksy for the 2023 season.

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