This past weekend the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base received some interesting news. According to both Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, long-time Steelers General Manager (GM) Kevin Colbert is planning to step down from his post following the 2022 NFL Draft.
It makes sense, when you think about it. Not only has Colbert been on a year-to-year contract for the past several seasons, but if there was ever a time to leave the team it would be alongside your future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Before going any further, it should be noted outlets like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated the Rapoport and Pelissero reports were false. Regardless of which report is true or false, Colbert’s contract does expire at the end of the 2022 NFL Draft, in which case a decision will be made from an organizational standpoint.
But as the majority of the NFL has officially begun their offseason, and several organizations are looking to find their next GM, there is one member of the Steelers organization who is garnering attention from potential suitors as a potential GM. That would be none other than Omar Khan, who the Chicago Bears requested permission to interview for their opening at GM, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Bears requested permission to interview Steelers’ VP Omar Khan for their GM job, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2022
Here lies the issue with the Steelers. There are many who believe the team would love to promote from within if/when Colbert decides to call it quits. Of those who could be promoted, Khan is near the top of that list. Alongside Khan would be Brandon Hunt, who is one of the leaders of the team’s scouting department. Either way, with these names drawing attention outside of the organization, it would make sense the Steelers get to the bottom of Colbert’s future with the organization. That is, if they would want to promote someone like Khan to the GM position.
The longer this process takes, there is a higher likelihood those internal candidates might not be available for promotion. For those fans who wouldn’t want to the Steelers to hire from within, this might be music to your ears, but one would think the organization wants to get a definitive answer as soon as possible.
As for Colbert, he wouldn’t have to step down immediately if he knew he was going to be exiting at season’s end. Around the end of the season would be the time Colbert announces he won’t be returning, and they promote someone to GM, leaving Colbert on as a mentor until his contract expires, after the upcoming draft.
Nonetheless, if Colbert is going anywhere, and wants to stay on for another season, or more, those internal candidates should have to ability to go where they please. But if Colbert is indeed done, and the reports are true, the sooner the organization can find replacements, the better.