Former NFL GM suggests Steelers will choose fans’ nightmare QB scenario

A former NFL general manager doesn't believe the Pittsburgh Steelers will make significant change at the quarterback position.

Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on the
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on the / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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The Pittsburgh Steelers may have made the playoffs this past season, resulting in a Wild Card Round loss to the Buffalo Bills, but they have questions that need to be answered. The biggest question mark is what the team will do at the quarterback position.

After firing Matt Canada midseason, the Steelers hired former Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith as the team's new offensive coordinator. With that, fans pondered what the team would do at quarterback, considering Kenny Pickett's struggles in his first two years and the fact that there are more prolific quarterbacks available in free agency, the trade block, and the NFL Draft.

Former Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman expressed his belief that the Steelers won't make a significant move at the quarterback position, and instead stick with Pickettn in a video for The 33rd Team.

“What I’m thinking is and what you’ve been reading out there is they’re all in on Kenny Pickett,” said Spielman, h/t On3 Sports. “So don’t expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to go up and trade for one of the big three quarterbacks in this draft or be very active in free agency signing a Kirk Cousins or maybe trading for Justin Fields

Rick Spielman believes Steelers will stick with Kenny Pickett, opt against bringing in a big-name QB

That won't be a popular take for Steelers fans holding out hope that the team will bring in a big-name signal caller.

After the season, head coach Mike Tomlin said that he would like to bring in competition for Pickett. Particularly, Tomlin wanted to bring back Mason Rudolph to compete with Pickett, but noted that the former 2018 third-round pick was a free agent. Rudolph did show more promise in the offense led by Mike Sullivan when taking over for the injured Pickett.

But with the AFC having dominant quarterback play with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Lamar Jackson, the Steelers better hope that Pickett is the answer.

Pickett did show promise in the preseason, with the offense appearing to be firing on all cylinders. The thing is, it never translated to the regular season, and Pickett struggled to adequately produce under center. In 12 games, Pickett threw for 2,070 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions while completing 62.0 percent of his passes.

In his two years with the Steelers, Pickett recorded 4,474 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions on a 62.6 completion percentage.

Maybe the third year is the charm for Pickett,l and he thrives in Smith's offense. But to pass on the likes of Justin Fields and Kirk Cousins this offseason could backfire if it doesn't pan out.

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