It’s been a bit since we have heard prominently from anybody with the Pittsburgh Steelers since their season ended, so it was nice to get a chance to hear from president Art Rooney II this afternoon, and we have been getting piecemeal what he said to a group of reporters.
Obviously, the most prominent news that was discussed concerned the state of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s contract, with Rooney making it clear that something needs to be done with his contract in order for him to be able to play given the team’s salary cap situation.
Another notable but brief point of discussion was general manager Kevin Colbert, who last season let it be known that he would be taking his future on a year-to-year basis. Colbert, who has been with the team for two decades, is 64 years old.
“I feel like Kevin is going to come back, but who knows?”, Rooney conceded, according to Brooke Pryor. Unlike most deals, Colbert’s contract expires following the draft—in this case, the 2021 NFL Draft. In the event that he does decide to retire, this year’s draft will be the final bit of his legacy in Pittsburgh.
GM Kevin Colbert is on a year-to-year deal, and Art Rooney II says they’ve had conversations about the next step. Nothing official yet, but Rooney II thinks he’ll be back.
“I feel like Kevin is going to come back, but who knows.”
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) January 28, 2021
As Rooney stated, however, he believes that Colbert will sign another one-year contract in order to remain the general manager of the Steelers, and given some of his recent moves—trading up for Devin Bush, trading for Minkah Fitzpatrick, the surprisingly successful 2020 NFL Draft class—I don’t think there should be much pushback from fans about that being a good thing.
While the Steelers have been stuck in the mud as far as advancing in the postseason goes, they have still been among the most successful franchises in Colbert’s tenure, but everyone in the building understands that they have not been elevating themselves to their own standard.
The team has gone four consecutive seasons without a single postseason victory, which is a rare occurrence for the Steelers. They didn’t even qualify for the postseason during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, though of course, they were without their quarterback in 2019, and they still finished 9-6-1 in 2018.
But going 12-4 and losing in the Wildcard Round as a division winner is certainly not acceptable. How much of that falls squarely on the shoulders of the general manager, especially for a team like Pittsburgh that operates with a ‘brain trust’, where no one person necessarily has final say?