Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Talks Ward, Mendenhall, Smith, Haley & Salary Cap

Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert joined KDKA radio this morning to answer questions about several things the team is facing this offseason. Colbert started out talking about Hines Ward, and said that there still has not been a decision made on his future and that they are still in that decision making process. He talked about the importance about making sure you do the right thing and are sensitive to everyone involved, including the players in the locker room, when it comes to such a great player like Hines.

As far as the salary cap goes, Colbert can\’t speculate how far they will be over the cap come the deadline of March 13th because the league has not released the final cap number for 2012 and won\’t until the first week of March.

When asked about running back Rashard Mendenhall, Colbert said that there has been no setback and that they know an ACL injury can take up to a year to recover from, and that he is pretty sure Mendenhall will start out the season on the PUP list which would sideline for the first 6 weeks at least of the season. They have to be prepared for the worst he said. In his experience though, Colbert said players are never 100% after an ACL injury for a full year.

When asked about the future of Aaron Smith, Colbert said that he is still in the evaluation phase of his recovery. Hid did say that Smith comes into the training facility occasionally to get checked out and see where he is at, but that he hasn’t made a decision yet on his future.

When asked about new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Colbert said that it will be a learning process over the next 4 months. Colbert said it will not change the type of player that the Steelers look for, but noted there could be changes schematically. He added that it’s a very important time right now for our coaches.

When asked about contract restructures, Colbert did not want to name the players but did say that they will approach more of them about restructures. Colbert emphasized that restructured players don’t lose any money in these types of deals, but rather they just get their salaries a little bit differently. Colbert called it a way to utilize accounting to push money out to future years.

You can listen to the full interview below:

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