Things seemed very promising for veteran quarterback Mitch Trubisky upon his signing in free agency with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Trubisky, the former No. 2 overall pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft, saw the opportunity with the Steelers as a way to get back on the field and rebuild his stock after failing in Chicago, and then sitting a year in Buffalo behind Josh Allen.
Everything seemed very promising for the former high-pedigree signal caller as the Steelers added a pair of veteran offensive linemen in James Daniels and Mason Cole, and added some defensive pieces in Levi Wallace and Myles Jack, highlighting a historic free agency period for outgoing Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert.
All that seemingly changed for Trubisky in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft though as the Steelers grabbed Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, igniting a quarterback competition in the Steel City to take over for Ben Roethlisberger. That quarterback competition could very well see Pickett beat out Trubisky, putting him on the bench once again.
Though the Steelers were reportedly up front and honest with Trubisky prior to signing him to the two-year, $15 million deal (up to $27 million in incentives), Trubisky was a very clear loser coming out of the draft at his position, according to CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr.
“Pickett is a legitimate threat to win the starting quarterback job and be the Week 1 starter for the Steelers. Pickett completed 66.9% of his passes in 2021 for 4,308 yards with 42 touchdowns to seven interceptions for a 116.0 passer rating. His adjusted completion rate of 78.8% was fourth in the nation while his average time to throw was 3.2 seconds — second in the nation,” Kerr writes. “Pickett already has experience playing at Heinz Field, and appears to be the ideal fit to lead the Steelers in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era. The Steelers didn’t take Pickett to hold the clipboard and learn from Trubisky. Even if Trubisky beats out Pickett in camp, how long can he hold on to the starting quarterback job? Being the next franchise quarterback for the Steelers seems to be a long shot.”
Pickett certainly is a legitimate threat to win the starting job in training camp, considering he was considered the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft class at the position. His four years of starting experience and his overall skillset makes him a good fit in second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system, which could see him on the field rather quickly.
Of course, assuming Trubisky was anything more than a bridge quarterback in Pittsburgh was dealing in false hope overall. The contract details laid out pretty clearly that this was a one-year flier from the Steelers on a quarterback with pedigree.
For Trubisky, the ideal outcome from the draft would have been for the Steelers to select someone like Malik Willis, who could sit a year behind him and learn the nuances of the position overall. Instead, the Steelers were fortunate that Pickett fell into their laps, leading to an easy selection and — hopefully — a long career in the city he already calls home.
The clock is already ticking on Trubisky.