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Report: Steelers sign first-round QB Kenny Pickett

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Kenny Pickett became the latest first-round pick in the 2022 draft to sign as a rookie after agreeing to a contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adam Schefter of ESPN.

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Although Pickett was the last to sign among first-round players, his signing date is still the same as most rookies.

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All but five of the 2022 first-round picks signed their contracts before June, which is the opposite of what happened in 2021 when more than half waited until the end of June to agree to deals. Eight of those 2021 picks were also not signed until July, including the first three picks in the draft – Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, as well as the 15th overall pick Mac Jones.

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The signing dates were even later in 2020, with 26 of the 32 first-round picks waiting until July to sign their contracts, though this was likely something to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, 26 people signed in May, six in June and six in July.

According to SpotracPickett’s deal is likely to be a fully guaranteed four-year contract worth around $14 million with a $7.4 million signing bonus and will include a fifth year player option for 2026.

Could Pickett start in Pittsburgh?

The Steelers are entering a brave new world under center after 18-year-old Ben Roethlisberger retired after the 2021 season.

Pittsburgh drafted Pickett—the only quarterback drafted in the first round—with the 20th pick after signing free agent quarterback Mitchell Trubisky earlier in the offseason. There were also many questions about Pickett’s hand size during the pre-draft after he measured 8.5 inches, which would have been the smallest in the NFL.

Even yet Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told the NFL Network. after the draft, Pickett will have an opportunity to win the starting job.

“Of course he has a chance [to be our Week 1 starter]”, – said Tomlin. – I agree with his opinion about his readiness from a professional point of view.”

If Pickett wins the job, he’ll have a solid and young cast around him, including 2021 first-round running back Naji Harris, as well as fast-paced wide receivers Dionte Johnson and Chase Claypool.

Claypool, who recently declared himself one of the league’s top three wide receivers, praised Pickett earlier this month on I AM A SPORTSMAN podcast:

“[Pickett] looks good. It’s mobile,” Claypool said. “He’s faster than people think, so this will be news to us. And I think it will create plays. You see so many Ja’Marr and T games that Joe pockets and makes the games possible. And you know, we’re young, we’re versatile, we’re dynamic, so he’s going to add to that.”

Kenny Pickett was the last first round pick to sign a rookie contract.  (Photo by Brandon Slaughter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kenny Pickett was the last first round pick to sign a rookie contract. (Photo by Brandon Slaughter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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