2021 Offseason Questions: Will Kevin Colbert Be Back Beyond The Draft?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?

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: Will Kevin Colbert be back beyond the 2021 NFL Draft?

Earlier in the week, Steelers president Art Rooney II said that he feels that general manager Kevin Colbert is likely to sign another one-year contract with the team to remain on board through the 2022 NFL Draft, continuing his decades-long tenure with the organization.

He also said ‘who knows’ what will happen, however, and the reality is that there is always the possibility for plans to change, or simply for there to be plans that we don’t know about. Nobody was anticipating that Vance McDonald would retire, for example.

Right now, Colbert is in the process of preparing for free agency and the draft. He may not even be thinking about his future right now, likely full well knowing that there is a job for him available provided that he wants it, so he may not even know what his intentions are for 2022.

What we know for now is that he will be on board through April, roughly, with his contract running through the end of the draft, and that he has gone on record stating that he intends to take things one year at a time from this point on.

What we don’t know is how close Colbert might be to retiring. Dick LeBeau coached for a number of years after he began to take things on a year-to-year basis. This is a profession where, for most people, it’s difficult to step away.

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