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Pickett insists Steelers exit was properly handled at Eagles unveiling

New Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kenny Pickett has hit back at criticism of how he handled his exit from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pickett was traded to the Eagles last Friday, with Pittsburgh also sending a 2024 fourth-round pick to Philadelphia and receiving a 2024 third-round selection and two 2025 seventh-round picks in return.

That deal went through after the Steelers acquired former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, who was released by the Denver Broncos after two underwhelming years with the team.

The Steelers then further bolstered their QB room one day later, agreeing a surprise trade with the Chicago Bears to bring Justin Fields to Acrisure Stadium.

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Reports had suggested Pickett was traded after reacting poorly to Wilson’s arrival in Pittsburgh, but the 2022 first-round pick denied that was the case on Monday.

“I think the communication is what it is. It was behind closed doors,” Pickett said at his unveiling in Philadelphia, where he will back up Jalen Hurts.

“I’m confident in the way that I handled it. I handled it the way I should have handled it.

“I’m excited to be here. It worked out so well that Philly was the place I ended up landing in. Everything happens for a reason and I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”

Pickett went 7-5 through 12 games with the Steelers in 2023, but he failed to regain his starting position from Mason Rudolph after suffering a high ankle sprain which required surgery late in the campaign.

Pickett also pushed back at suggestions he reacted poorly to losing his place, saying: “I think that goes back to a lot of the communication behind closed doors that didn’t go how it was getting released.

“There was a plan there. It went down exactly as it was planned to go down that entire week. I was coming off the ankle surgery, so it is what it is. Like I’ve been saying, though, I’m very happy to be here.”

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