2022 Offseason Questions: Which Outside GM Candidates Might Steelers Interview (And Will They Hire One)?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.

These are the sorts of topics 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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Which general manager candidates from outside the organization will the Steelers interview (and what are the odds that they hire one of them)?

Steelers president Art Rooney II confirmed yesterday that longtime general manager Kevin Colbert indeed intends to retire from that role this year. He also confirmed that Colbert will be retaining that title through the 2022 NFL Draft.

Based on Rooney’s comments yesterday, they are already interviewing candidates. At least, he said that they have already interviewed their two internal candidates, Omar Khan and Brandon Hunt. He added, “and now we’ll be talking to some external candidates as well”.

He did say that they will be conducting the search now, but that they likely won’t actually make a hire until after the draft; that would seemingly make it much harder to hire somebody from the outside, which makes it likelier, as has long been assumed, there will be an internal promotion.

Still, they are required to interview at least two external minority candidates for the role, anyway, so whether they want to or not, they have to interview some outside executives. Louis Riddick is going to be a popular name for multiple reasons, and it wouldn’t be altogether surprising if he does get interviewed.

I don’t profess to be an expert on every team’s front office, truth be told, so I’m not going to pretend to have some exhaustive list of names handy. But I think this is one of the most relevant questions of the day. Colbert was the team’s general manager for over two decades, so who could potentially replace him is rather significant. And you can check out a list like this, which includes a few who have already been hired, or Google others.

That’s especially so given the search for a new quarterback. Colbert will be on board through the main body of the offseason, but let’s be honest, the odds of the Steelers finding their next long-term future starter this year are low, so chances are the next general manager will still be looking for ‘the franchise’.

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