While Kevin Colbert has admitted he’s taking his NFL future year-by-year, owner Art Rooney II sounds hopeful Colbert’s time in black and gold will last a little while longer.
Speaking with the Pittsburgh beat writers earlier today, Rooney said he believes the team will get an extension done.
Per Gerry Dulac.
Rooney: All signs point to GM Kevin Colbert returning for at least more season when his deal expires after the draft. "I'm optimistic about Kevin being back next year. We have to get something done. The sooner, the better."
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 15, 2020
Rooney says: “I’m optimistic about Kevin being back next year. We have to get something done. The sooner, the better.”
Colbert’s contract currently extends through this year’s draft. Hired to be the team’s GM in 2000, he has won two Super Bowls since taking control of the team and going to another, a 2011 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Colbert, 63, hasn’t commented on his future in awhile, he’s rarely heard from during the season anyway, but will be speaking to the media several times over the next few months. The team website interviews him during the Combine and he’ll hold a press conference with Mike Tomlin shortly before the draft.
Whenever Colbert retires, the most likely in-house option to replace him is Brandon Hunt, currently serving as the team’s Pro Scouting Coordinator. Of course, the team may not stay in-house to replace him. Colbert was an outside hire, working for the Detroit Lions before replacing Tom Donahoe, whose falling out with Bill Cowher led to his dismissal.
It seems likely, though not certain, that Colbert will remain with the team through 2021. Beyond that is impossible to say. By that point, Colbert, Ben Roethlisberger, and Maurkice Pouncey may walk away, ushering in a new era. That’s why the team has been so aggressive the last 24 months, attempting to maximize their shrinking Super Bowl window.