Moats: Steelers Absolutely Need To Bring In Sam Darnold To Solve Their Kenny Pickett Problem

The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves at a crossroads in their search for a reliable quarterback. Kenny Pickett, their current signal-caller, has shown moments of promise, but has also struggled at times, leaving the team and its fans uncertain about his long-term potential. With Mason Rudolph’s future with the Steelers up in the air as he enters free agency, the quarterback situation in Pittsburgh is far from settled.

Moats: Steelers Absolutely Need To Bring In Sam Darnold To Solve Their Kenny Pickett Problem

Steelers Still Have Confidence In Kenny Pickett

Head Coach Mike Tomlin has expressed confidence in the roster’s quarterback situation for the 2024 season. However, it’s important to take his words with a grain of salt, as he has a vested interest in supporting his current players. Tomlin’s belief in Pickett’s potential means that the Steelers are committed to developing him further and giving him opportunities to prove himself. However, it doesn’t exactly mean that the Steelers won’t pursue quarterbacks in free agency or the draft.

The looming question is whether Rudolph will return to the Steelers or seek opportunities elsewhere. His uncertain status adds an additional layer of complexity to the team’s quarterback dilemma. While Rudolph has had his moments, many are skeptical about him being the long-term solution for the franchise.

The Steelers attempted to address their quarterback depth by bringing in Mitch Trubisky. It has not yielded the desired results. Trubisky’s record of 3-9 in games where he has thrown over 15 passes raises concerns about his ability to lead the team to victory. Additionally, his contract is on the expensive side, making his time in Pittsburgh appear less tenable.

With Rudolph’s future uncertain and Trubisky not proving to be the answer, the Steelers face a critical decision. Should they invest in drafting a promising young quarterback from the rich talent pool of the 2024 draft class, or should they consider bringing in a seasoned veteran to stabilize the position?

Former Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats offers valuable insights into the situation via his podcast The Arthur Moats Experience. He suggests that Pittsburgh should explore the possibility of acquiring Sam Darnold.

“You saw Sam Darnold come in and play good this year. You know he’s a high pedigree guy who’s been around and has starter experience, but more importantly, he’s very talented, so less about how productive he can be. You are talking about talent in a practice setting. Do you know how hard it is to beat out a professional on that level?”

One of the primary reasons Darnold is an attractive choice is his affordability. He wouldn’t demand a hefty contract, making him a low-risk addition to the team.

“If you can’t beat Sam Darnold, then yeah, we need to go draft us a guy the following year because we don’t deem Sam Darnold as our franchise guy, but is he good enough to start? Sure.”

Moreover, Darnold’s presence could create healthy competition within the quarterback room, motivating Pickett to showcase his skills and prove that he deserves to be the Steelers’ starting quarterback. Darnold could help the Steelers get a final verdict on Pickett’s potential.

It’s impossible to ignore the similarities between Darnold and Trubisky. Both were high draft picks who initially struggled in their roles and have now found themselves in backup positions. Darnold, as of 2023, serves as the San Francisco 49ers’ backup, limiting his playing time. However, when given the opportunity, he demonstrated his abilities, passing for 297 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

Ultimately, the potential addition of Darnold to the Steelers’ roster serves as a means to bolster the quarterback room and intensify the competition. Bringing in Darnold sends a message to Pickett that the organization believes in him, but wants to challenge him to elevate his game. It’s a strategic move to push Pickett to reach his full potential, ensuring that the Steelers have the best possible quarterback leading their team.

The Steelers are facing a critical decision in their quest for a reliable quarterback. Darnold emerges as a cost-effective and competitive option that could benefit both the team and Pickett’s development. As the Steelers navigate the complex landscape of NFL quarterbacking, Darnold’s arrival could be the catalyst for positive change in the Steel City. It also could just be the exact same thing the Steelers tried to do with Trubisky.

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