When he first got the news back in September that he was being traded, Nick Vannett's mind was spinning. It wasn't what he expected just a few weeks into the 2019 season, to be traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Steelers. It was a challenge, and a challenge he didn't have time to think about how he was going to handle. There was no time to think, just react. And that's exactly what he did.
"Looking back on it, now that the season is over and everything, I am pretty proud of how I handled it," said Vannett. "It's tough for anybody to experience being traded, especially when it's last minute and unexpected. You don't see it coming.
"One day I get a phone call that I am traded, I was leaving that night, four or five hours of packing up everything I needed. Then the next day I am in Pittsburgh doing everything I can to contribute.
"I was proud of how I handled it. I felt like I handled it maturely, professionally."
Vannett finished the season with 17 receptions for 156 yards, with 13 catches for 128 yards after he joined the Steelers. He felt like he fit right in, getting comfortable with the offense and his new surroundings as the season progressed.
"About a month or two after I got here, I was able to catch up with the offense, get accustomed to the whole city of Pittsburgh and just settle into my place, get everything moved in," said Vannett. "Once I got all of that taken care of, I was able to settle in and play football the way I know how to and just provide some spark to this team the way I know I can.
"Despite our record, despite how the season ended, I felt like my season was successful in how I handled it, came in and took advantage of the opportunity that was given to me."
One of the biggest concerns a player does have when they are traded is how they are going to be accepted by their new team, how they are going to fit in. If it's not a good locker room, it can be an uncomfortable situation. For Vannett, that wasn't the case.
"It's incredible here," said Vannett. "I thought it was really good in Seattle. Coming in here you don't know what to expect when you go to someplace new. You keep hearing about places being the worst place ever, or there is no camaraderie. When I came here from Day 1, I felt the love, I felt very welcomed.
"All of the guys were very cool, easy to work with. I felt very comfortable. All of the people in the organization were easy to work with. All of the media people working for the team, all of the coaches, all the people who do the behind the scenes work. Everybody is so down to earth. It is a true family atmosphere here. I think that made it easier for me to make that transition to come here and just play football.
"I have a lot of respect for this organization. I sure hope I am here for years to come."
And that is where the next question mark, the next mind-spinning part of Vannett's career comes into play. Vannett will become an unrestricted free agent on March 18. His desire is simple like he said, he wants to be in the black and gold 'for years to come.'
"I had a great year here," said Vannett. "At the end of the day it's all about the guys you do it with, the relationships you form. I feel like in the three months during the season I was here I built so many good relationships that will go beyond the playing years. At the end of the day that is why you come to work every day, to be able to do it with the guys you do it with. I feel like I have established those relationships here and I want to continue to do it.
"If it was up to me, I would sign on the paper right now. I know there is a lot that goes into it, but hopefully it works out."