The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: How different will the Steelers look after the 2021 season?
Ben Roethlisberger. Maurkice Pouncey. Joe Haden. Stephen Nelson. David DeCastro. These are just a few of the notable names of players whose contracts expire following the 2021 season. Head coach Mike Tomlin’s contract, assuming the option is picked up, expires at that time, as well. Kevin Colbert’s contract is now extended through the 2021 draft.
Could 2022 be the year the Steelers finally have to ‘rebuild’, rather than ‘reload’? the table is set for that possibility, if we see a mass exodus of talent, both on the field and in the front office, during that time, and with the potential departure of a franchise quarterback, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a number of others make the decision to hang it up or move on.
This question was inspired by the fact that Colbert agreed to a new one-year contract extension yesterday, which more or less ties him to the same potential timeline as Roethlisberger and the others. Roethlisberger is notorious for being coy about how long he intends to play, typically defaulting to saying he plans to honor his contract.
Well, his contract runs out two years from now, so that’s the point in time in which many expect that he will retire, or at least may retire. He did say last summer or so that the felt like he could play beyond the contract…but that was also before this elbow injury.