Steelers News

‘We’re Always Gonna Build Our Team Through The Draft’: Omar Khan Reaffirms Steelers’ Roster-Building Priorities Entering First Offseason As GM

We are knocking on the door of the start of the new league year at this point, and with that comes the start of the free agency period. The Pittsburgh Steelers were pretty active last year, adding starters in James Daniels, Mason Cole, Myles Jack, and Levi Wallace, and later Larry Ogunjobi as well, but one doesn’t anticipate a similar flurry this time.

For one thing, they don’t have as much cap space, although they can find it if they would really like to. Chances are they will make some moves, including a predictable cut or two and perhaps a couple of restructures, but they’ve always had one primary focus for the past 50-plus years.

We’re always gonna build our team through the draft”, said general manager Omar Khan, preparing for his first draft in that seat. “For us, that’s never gonna change. For us, the trading and free agency, those are all tools and opportunities to improve certain positions, but I assure you, we will always build our team through the draft”.

These were remarks made last week at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine while on SiriusXM Radio’s Movin’ the Sticks program with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller. In it, he reiterated a long-held organizational position that transcends any one man’s view.

Kevin Colbert before him shared the same believe, as have head coaches Mike Tomlin, Bill Cowher, and Chuck Noll before them—although in Noll’s case, free agency worked a little differently. Not that he didn’t have to pay his top talents at the top of their position.

Still, change always creates uncertainty, and even if Khan has been in the building for the past couple of decades wearing other titles, it’s nevertheless fair to wonder where the points of departure may lie. And he’s not the only change that has been made.

Most want to talk about hiring Andy Weidl as assistant general manager, a role the Steelers have never even had in their front office. Equally notable is Sheldon White coming in as their new director of pro scouting, with Dave Petett promoted to assistant director.

The Steelers are, of course, rather active in free agency. It’s just that their priorities are their own players. Some notable names they are expected to hope to keep are cornerback Cameron Sutton, defensive end Larry Ogunjobi, tight end Zach Gentry, safeties Terrell Edmunds and Damontae Kazee, and linebacker Robert Spillane.

They may or may not be able to retain everybody they hope to; if not, they may seek veteran replacements elsewhere on the market, a possibility we have discussed in the cases of players like Gentry and Sutton.

But it’s rare that they don’t make at least some small moves. I would anticipate, for example, a veteran offensive lineman to be brought in for depth, possibly an experienced slot receiver as well. Bobby Wagner at linebacker? Probably less so, and almost certainly not without the release of Jack.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!