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Art Rooney II on Mike Tomlin contract talks, and Kevin Colbert’s future

The future of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office seems to be in tact for at least another few seasons.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers current situation isn’t a good one. Not only do they have a plethora of pending Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) who could be leaving for greener pastures this offseason, they have the uncertainty around Ben Roethlisberger and his ludicrous salary cap hit, and, as if that wasn’t enough, the concern about the impending salary cap has everyone wondering what will happen.

To make matters worse, the Steelers are also being forced to think about two very important members of the team’s staff/front office, and their future with the team. No name is larger than head coach Mike Tomlin, and with his contract set to expire after the 2021 season, team president Art Rooney II was asked about just that during his meeting with media on Thursday.

Here was his response, as it pertains to Tomlin’s future with the team:

“We’ll address Mike’s contract with him as time goes on this offseason,” said Rooney. “I’ll just say I feel comfortable in saying that he’ll be our coach into the future. In terms of the job he did, obviously we didn’t finish the way we’d like. The playoff game, again, it’s hard to analyze exactly what we did there in terms of just turning the ball over that way. I don’t really see how you attribute that to coaching preparation. I think the team went into that game prepared and felt like we were going to win. It wasn’t one of those things where we came out flat or anything like that. You just can’t turn the ball over. So, in terms of the overall season, you know, we set a franchise record starting out 11-0, won our division, so those are the positives. The way we finished was not one of the positives. I know Mike feels as bad about that as any of us and is determined to do what we need to do to fight to get back into having another opportunity to win the division and move on.”

Tomlin isn’t the only significant figure who has an uncertain future with the team. General Manager Kevin Colbert has been working on a year-to-year basis for the past few seasons, and many are wondering what the future has in store for the Steelers, and potential successors to Colbert. Rooney said he has had some conversations with his general manager already and that more likely will happen, but he didn’t indicate that he foresaw a search for a successor being imminent.

“I think we have viable internal candidates, but if Kevin decided not to continue on,” Rooney said. “I think we’d look at opening up the situation and doing a search and deciding if our internal candidates were stronger than candidates who might come in from the outside. I think that it remains to be seen how we’ll approach that, and I feel like Kevin is going to come back, but who knows.”

There will certainly be some who honestly hope the Steelers decide to not extend Tomlin’s contract, and also some who wouldn’t mind seeing someone like Omar Khan take over as the team’s General Manager. Either way, that isn’t how the Steelers do business. They don’t only take care of their own, but they are loyal, almost to a fault.

Either way, expect some news on these two men as the offseason progresses, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for all the latest Pittsburgh Steelers news as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.