On Friday, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the news that there will be no contract extension for Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert this summer. That report included in it that Colbert has requested to go year-to-year with his future in Pittsburgh as the Steelers general manager and that a decision will be made after the 2019 season ends on his future for the 2020 season. On Saturday, Colbert addressed that news with several members of the media.
“I’m under contract through May 2020,” said Colbert, according to Bob Labriola of steelers.com. “When I did my last extension, it was with the understanding that when we got to the end of that extension, if I was still employed, that most likely moving forward we would approach it year-to-year. That was a personal request on my part, and I’m very grateful Art (Rooney II) was accommodating to that because that’s just where my family and I are in our lives. We want to make those decisions on a year-to-year from this point forward.”
To hear Colbert talk on Friday, his decision to go year-to-year moving forward has likely been in the works for quite a while and family circumstances are likely to play a big part in his future decision-making related to if he wants to continue being the team’s general manager. Steelers team president Art Rooney II also seems to be completely on board with how Colbert wants to handle his immediate future with the organization moving forward. Additionally, Colbert made it clear on Friday that nothing will change with how he approaches his job duties despite him currently only being under contract with the Steelers through the 2020 NFL Draft.
“I’m appreciative that Art was accepting of (the request to go year-to-year), and it hasn’t changed anything we’re doing from a preparation standpoint,” said Colbert, per Labriola. “My schedule this year is as busy as it was in any previous year from the standpoint of college visits, college work, college studies, games – nothing has changed along those lines. When we’re in the meetings with the scouts, I’m talking about things we have to do differently next year in our meetings. So the mind-set is about 2019, but I’m not thinking about ‘this is my last year.’ What I am thinking about, and what we’ve talked about is that we’ll make that decision at some point when it’s agreeable. But right now we’re going to focus on 2019. There’s nothing more to it than that.”
Colbert’s immediate plans include him helping the Steelers hopefully winning another Super Bowl this season. So, would Colbert consider riding off into the sunset after the Lombardi Trophy presentation should the Steelers indeed win a seventh one in February of 2020?
“When you win, you want to win again,” Colbert said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review “so I can’t answer that.”
Colbert said Friday that there’s currently no succession plan in place should he ultimately decide that 2019 is it for him. Regardless, you can bet that Colbert future will be decided long before the 2020 NFL Draft takes place. If Colbert is around as a decision-maker for that annual event, it means he’ll be with the team through the 2020 season.
If, however, Colbert decides to move on from the Steelers immediately after the 2019 season is over, one would have to think that leading the list of candidates to replace him as the team’s general manager would be two people already with the organization, Omar Khan and Brandon Hunt. Khan is currently the Steelers Vice President of Football and Business Administration while Hunt is currently the team’s Pro Scouting Coordinator.
“And whatever happens, I would never leave the organization unprepared, is the best way to say it,” Colbert said on Friday. “We’re doing everything as if everything is going to continue.”
Colbert is currently 62 years of age. Before joining the Steelers in 2000 he was the Pro Scouting Director of the Detroit Lions from 1990-1999.