The way to break up with a team is to scrub social media of all references to them, and that's what Pickens did with the Steelers on Friday. He removed all references to the Steelers from his Instagram page and posted "Free Me" on an Instagram story, according to 93.7 The Fan's Audacy page and other reports, including Blitzburgh. Pickens might have also unfollowed teammates Diontae Johnson and Kenny Pickett and coach Mike Tomlin, according to On3 Sports. Many noticed that Pickens didn't seem to celebrate Johnson's touchdown when he scored Thursday night in a 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Pickens had two catches for -1 yards against the Titans. Despite the win, Pickens was still frustrated, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. Kaboly told 93.7 The Fan that Pickens was the first player to leave the field after the game, first player to leave the locker room and didn't talk to anyone after the game.
Pickens did have some near misses Thursday night and has seen his usage slip since Diontae Johnson came back off injured reserve. In the Steelers' previous game he had one catch for 22 yards. Johnson caught the go-ahead touchdown on Thursday night. Pickens also could have helped himself out by getting a second foot down on a potential touchdown, but he couldn't and it was incomplete.
Pickens had some big games with Johnson out, but the Steelers don't have a great passing game, in part because second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett hasn't taken a big leap this season. It's hard for Pickens or anyone in the passing offense to have consistent production.
It's not like anything is going to happen with Pickens now. The trade deadline just passed and the Steelers wouldn't have been trading their ultra-talented second-year receiver anyway. Maybe it leads to more targets next week; that often happens when a receiver complains about lack of targets.
But for now, we just have some social media drama with Pickens. After a win. Which improved the Steelers' record to 5-3. When his teammate made a huge play. Even if Pickens is frustrated, it's not the best look.