Steelers' pick swap in Kenny Pickett deal looks amazing after Zach Wilson trade

The Zach Wilson trade makes Pittsburgh's pick-swap deal involving Kenny Pickett look even sweeter.
New York Jets v Pittsburgh Steelers
New York Jets v Pittsburgh Steelers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers were hardly the only team that sent their former first-round quarterback packing during the 2024 offseason. Shortly after Omar Khan traded Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bears and Steelers agreed on a deal that would give quarterback Justin Fields a fresh start in Pittsburgh.

Now the New York Jets are joining the action. With Aaron Rodgers set to return to the field after recovering from an Achilles injury, the Jets have officially traded QB Zach Wilson to the Chicago Bears.

Wilson was the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. In three seasons with the Jets, Wilson managed just 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions while leading his team to a record of 12-21 as a starter. After a third disappointing season, Wilson will compete to revitalize his career in Denver.

This is a zero-risk move by the Broncos who didn't have to give up much of anything to acquire the former first-round quarterback. In the trade, the Broncos are sending a sixth-round pick to the Jets (pick 207 overall) in exchange for Wilson and New York's seventh-round pick (256 overall).

Steelers haul in Kenny Pickett trade looks sweeter than ever

Kenny Pickett and Zach Wilson are both former first-round quarterbacks who didn't live up to expectations on their first NFL teams. However, Omar Khan looks like a genius for the pick-swap capital he was able to exchange for Pickett.

In the trade with the Eagles, the Steelers sent Pickett and a fourth-round pick (120 overall) to the Eagles in exchange for Philly's third-round pick (98 overall).

Jumping from the fourth round to the third round like the Steelers did in the Kenny Pickett trade was a notably more significant leap than the Jets moving from the seventh round to the sixth round in the Zach Wilson trade. Though Pickett is under contract for one year longer than Wilson, both quarterbacks had minimal production with poor efficiency and career passer ratings under 79.0.

Not only did the Steelers gain significantly more value in their pick-swap trade with the Eagles than the Jets did in their deal with the Broncos, but Pittsburgh also found a way to gain draft capital by moving from Kenny Pickett to Justin Fields (an obvious upgrade in the quarterback room).

This is just your weekly reminder that Omar Khan knows how to do business, and that inferior franchises can't windle other teams the way the Pittsburgh Steelers can.