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Why Is Steelers QB Kenny Pickett Now The Lone Remaining Unsigned 1st-Rounder?

Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

Why Is Steelers QB Kenny Pickett Now The Lone Remaining Unsigned 1st-Rounder?

UPTDATE – Kenny Pickett has signed his rookie contract CLICK HERE TO READ

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is officially the last remaining unsigned first-rounder from the 2022 NFL Draft. The New England Patriots signed first-round OL Cole Strange on Wednesday, leaving Pickett as the last remaining guy.

Steelers Mike Sullivan

While July looms near, there’s not too much room for concern, yet, for Steelers fans. Pickett’s deal is expected to be four years, in the $14 million range. It would be fully guaranteed, along with a fifth-year option included. The Steelers finished signing the rest of the draft picks just over two weeks ago.

The reason for the hold-up seems to be that Pickett and his agent are asking for more money up-front, according to the Boston Globe. They are supposedly asking for a larger signing bonus, which doesn’t affect the overall money earned in the four years. There are also reports that his agent is trying to get a little bit more than the slotted value. Even though there is hardly any wiggle room they’d still like to get a little bit more. Pickett is represented by WME Sports with Brian Ayrault as his agent. Ayrault represents several well-known NFL players, including Aaron Donald, Joe Burrow, Bud Dupree, and the Bosa brothers. He is also the agent for current Steelers players Terrell Edmunds, along with his brother, Tremaine, and recently-signed DL Larry Ogunjobi.

The CBA has predetermined amounts of money in place for each first-round draft position. So, falling in the first round costs an athlete sometimes millions of dollars. Pickett was selected 20th overall by the Steelers, a bit later than he likely expected. Some had him going to the Carolina Panthers with the sixth overall pick.

Steelers Kenny Pickett Mike Tomlin Art Rooney II

Quarterback Kenny Pickett, center, the Pittsburgh Steelers first-round NFL football draft pick, poses for a photo with head coach Mike Tomlin, left, and president/owner Art Rooney II, at the team’s training facility in Pittsburgh, Friday, April 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Steelers fans, no need to worry just yet

Contrary to his expected $14 million at the No. 20 spot, the Panthers’ pick at #6, Ickey Ekwonu, signed a four-year, $27.5 million deal. Pickett’s contract prospects were essentially cut in half with his slight fall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Quite unfortunate, but teams really don’t provide much in these negotiations. They typically follow the money set forth by the CBA, and it’s typically as easy as that. For now, don’t panic Steeler fans. It’s only a matter of time before a deal gets done. If I’m wrong, well, feel free to send this to @OldTakesExposed on Twitter.


When do you guys think Pickett signs his deal? Do you think it will become any sort of distraction? Let us know if you are worried yet and your overall thoughts on the Kenny Pickett contract situation!




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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!


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