Kevin Colbert: There are no contracts being negotiated

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Ziggy Hood and Emmanuel Sanders will play the 2013 season without deals in place afterward. It's expected, and, if no deal is made - the Steelers do not typically negotiate contracts into the regular season - it leaves both of them open to unrestricted free agency in 2014.

It seems all but certain, after the 2013 preseason slate of games have come to an end, there will be no new contracts for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders or defensive end Ziggy Hood.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told KDKA-TV during the pregame broadcast of the Steelers' 25-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers Thursday there are no contracts currently being negotiated.

The Steelers do not typically negotiate contracts during the regular season - although the team inked safety Troy Polamalu to an extension the day before the Steelers opened the regular season against the Baltimore Ravens.

A labor dispute interrupted the normal flow of business that year, so perhaps a temporary exception was granted. Standard operating procedure, though, would suggest Hood and Sanders will play this season on their current deals.

That really shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Sanders has shown outstanding ability, but injury concerns hold him back. There was some thought to trying to get Sanders to sign a shorter, lower dollar deal in lieu of his restricted free agency tender, but he signed a one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet with the Patriots. The Steelers matched that offer, and have him through the 2013 season.

Hood has been fairly pedestrian since the Steelers chose him in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. A defensive tackle at the University of Missouri, Hood has played extensively but hasn't been outstanding. The final year of his contract is scheduled to make around $3 million in 2013 on his base salary and roster bonus, and likely cannot expect to get that much on the open market.

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