Kenny Pickett's career just took a turn for the worse after Russell Wilson signing

It's going to be a tough road ahead for Kenny Pickett.

Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Roughly twelve hours before the start of the NFL's legal tampering period, the Pittsburgh Steelers made quite the splash by signing veteran quarterback Russell Wilson. The Broncos had recently released Wilson, and it was only days before he was on a flight to Pittsburgh for a visit.

Steelers fans were thrilled to see that Wilson had signed for the veteran minimum and that he will cost the team just $1.2 million on his one-year contract for the 2024 season. This extremely low cap number has caused some to believe that Wilson isn't guaranteed a starting role this season, but that won't be the case.

Despite his cheap contract, Wilson is expected to be the starting quarterback in Pittsburgh, and most assume he will be a notable upgrade over what the team had over the past few seasons.

This is good news... unless you are Kenny Pickett.

After just two seasons, it certainly feels like the Pittsburgh Steelers are ready to turn the page on their former first-round pick. Unfortunately, the team's decision to add Wilson will prove to be devastating for Pickett's career path.

Steelers are ending the Kenny Pickett experiment early

Russell Wilson had no incentive to rush to sign a veteran minimum contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers unless there was some sort of guarantee that he would be the starting quarterback in 2024. Wilson is betting on himself to have a strong year.

Whether Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan want to come out and say it or not, Kenny Pickett has been demoted, and the former 20th overall pick will be forced to fight tooth and nail to stay relevant in this league.

Many fans believed that Pickett should have been given one more shot as the starter -- especially now that Matt Canada was no longer part of the picture in Pittsburgh. Instead, the first opportunity with new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith will go to a 35-year-old Russell Wilson.

Despite Pickett's career-winning record of 14-10, his reputation had already hit rock bottom thanks to a 78.8 career passer rating and the lowest touchdown rate (1.9 percent) since the NFL merger.

If Pickett wants to get another chance to start in this league, he needs to be chomping at the bit when an opportunity arises. If Wilson suffers an injury in 2024, he needs to step in and explode for a huge performance. The same can be said if Pickett happens to enter the game for a struggling Wilson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have no plans to trade Kenny Pickett, so he is likely to remain on their roster as the primary backup. Once his Steelers career is officially over, Pickett seems destined to be a journeyman quarterback. He will be fortunate to get another opportunity to start for a season in the NFL.