Travis Kelce uses Taylor Swift to describe bitter ending between Steelers, Kenny Pickett

Travis Kelce channeled one of his girlfriend’s biggest songs to describe the Kenny Pickett-Steelers divorce that resulted in the quarterback being traded to the Eagles.

During the latest installment of his and Jason Kelce’s “New Heights” podcast, the brothers broke down the moves so far in NFL free agency and Travis suggested that Pickett and the Steelers had “bad blood,” which ultimately led to Pittsburgh sending Pickett across the state to Philadelphia.

“He just can’t leave the state of Pennsylvania,” Travis said of Pickett, a New Jersey native and Pittsburgh alum, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting after leading the Panthers to the 2021 ACC Championship. “The guy just loves Pennsylvania, man.”

Kenny Pickett prepares to throw in a game for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

“Kenny and the Steelers, their relationship ended in a little ‘bad blood,’” Travis sang in the tone of his girlfriend’s hit song, “Bad Blood” from her Grammy-winning 1989 album. “Kenny is saying he preferred to move on.”

Prior to the trade, which also involved the swapping of draft picks, Pickett was frustrated to learn that the Steelers acquired former Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson.

He learned of the trade on social media, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Travis Kelce on his “New Heights” podcast. X/New Heights

Taylor Swift performs during The Eras Tour at the National Stadium on March 02, 2024 in Singapore. Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

“I handled it the way I should’ve handled it,” Pickett said Monday. “I’m excited to be here. It worked out so well that Philly is the place I ended up landing in. I think everything happens for a reason and I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Pickett started 12 games for Pittsburgh this past season before he suffered an ankle injury in a Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, which required surgery.

There were reports that Pickett refused to suit up for a late-season game against the Seahawks because he would not be starting.

Pickett dismissed the negative reports, according to

“I think the communication is what it is,” he said. “It was behind closed doors. I’m confident in the way 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. I think everything happens for a reason, and I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers shakes hands with fans following a 32-25 win over the Seattle Seahawks during a preseason game at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Getty Images

Jason — who announced his retirement earlier this month after spending his 13-season NFL career with the Eagles — said he wasn’t sure why things didn’t work out between Pickett and the Steelers.

“But we’ve seen this before,” Jason said. “Sometimes it’s the fit, the system — whatever it is he gets to have a fresh start now and come over to Philadelphia and obviously he’ll be behind Jalen Hurts and have an opportunity to learn and grow and play with some really good players… Hopefully this is a better fit for Kenny and he can really maximize his potential in Philadelphia now.”

Prior to getting hurt, Pickett completed 62 percent of his attempts for 2,070 yards with six touchdowns against four interceptions.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, right, and quarterback Kenny Pickett walk off the field following an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. AP

Pittsburgh went with Mason Rudolph under center to finish the season.

“I just thought it was time (to move on),” Pickett said. “I just felt it was time from the things that transpired. I wanted to get a chance to go somewhere else and continue to grow my career.

“The fact that it’s in Philly, the place I grew up and found my love for the game, with a great coaching staff, great players, I’m looking forward to meeting all these guys in a couple weeks when everyone gets back in town. I think it’s an awesome opportunity to join this team.”`

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