The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Kevin Colbert will retire prior to the start of the 2021 regular season.
Explanation: As was reported yesterday, Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ General Manager, turned down talks of a possible contract extension, reflecting a desire, at his age, to take things year to year. His contract currently on the books runs out after the 2020 NFL Draft.
Colbert is 62 years old. He’s been at this for a long time. I have a very hard time imagining the Pittsburgh native wanting another job elsewhere, so if he’s not here in 2021, he’s going to be sitting home, regardless of what one certain national blogger suggested yesterday. He’s not going to be headhunted by David Tepper at 63 years old when he already has the job he wants.
No, Colbert’s desire to pass up a contract extension has everything to do with whether or not he believes he is able to perform his job with the competence and passion that he has up to this point in his career.
And there’s reason to believe he feels he is nearing the end of the line. He has nothing left to prove. He has assembled Super Bowl teams and produced one of the best records in the NFL over the course of his tenure. He has drafted future Hall of Famers, and, arguably, even helped to set up the next wave of Steelers players to carry them into the post-Ben Roethlisberger era. His legacy is already secure.
Football people, however, are a different breed. It’s hard to walk away. It’s even harder to know when to draw the line when it’s not your body telling you it’s had enough. Remember this: Colbert is a football guy through and through. He played the game. He grew up in the scouting system. And he grew up on the North Side, graduating from North Catholic and Robert Morris University.
And he knows that he’s built something, especially after this offseason, that has legitimate potential to return a Lombardi Trophy to that display case. Why wouldn’t he want to ride out the Roethlisberger years just to ensure that he’s around to maximize the chance of adding another Super Bowl to his resume?