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Steelers Quarterback Moves Were Unforeseen by Omar Khan



Steelers GM Omar Khan Trade Deadline Salary Cap

ORLANDO, Fla. — Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan genuinely meant it when he stated at the NFL Combine that he had “full faith” in Kenny Pickett being the team’s starting quarterback.

However, a combination of unforeseen happenings unfolded in the next few weeks that resulted in the Steelers landing Russell Wilson on a one-year veteran minimum deal and acquiring Justin Fields from the Chicago Bears via a trade

Pickett was the team’s only quarterback on the roster prior to free agency, so the Steelers had to make additions. The Wilson signing wasn’t to Pickett’s liking, however, and he requested to be traded. The Steelers obliged and sent him to Philadelphia. And that is when the flood gates opened for Fields.

“I’m excited about both of those players,” Khan said Monday at the NFL owner’s meetings. “They’re both really good quarterbacks. If you would have told me a month ago in Indy that we’d be here and Russell Wilson and Justin Fields would be our quarterbacks, I’d say, I’d be a little bit surprised.”

Wilson reportedly had an over six-hour meeting with the Steelers’ brass at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex prior to free agency. Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report said Wilson’s meeting with Mike Tomlin went so well that both connected on a level that spanned far beyond just football.

Coupled with Wilson’s favorable contract situation with Denver owing him $39 million guaranteed, Wilson was a perfect match in Pittsburgh.

“Once the announcement was made that he was going to be released and Russell and his agent had permission to talk to other clubs, we had a conversation and Russ came in and met with us,” Khan said. “We had a great day, felt good about it. He’ll probably tell you the same thing, it was a match for both of us. We made it work.

“When both sides meet, money aside, it’s got to be a fit. It made sense for both of us.”

Even though things didn’t workout for Pickett in Pittsburgh. Khan still believes he has a promising future.

“Nothing has changed. I still have a lot of faith in Kenny Pickett,” Khan said. “Kenny’s a good football player, a good quarterback. I think he’s got a big future in the NFL. Things just kind of evolved. I couldn’t really have foreseen that things would go the way they did.”

Alan Saunders contributed reporting from Orlando.