The Pittsburgh Steelers are an organization that doesn’t like change. In fact, if the way they’ve run things since 1969 are any indication, they despise it. So, when Kevin Colbert was the General Manager (GM) for the last 20+ years, fans knew what to expect.
After the 2022 NFL Draft Colbert decided to call it a career, and the Omar Khan era officially began in Pittsburgh. With this new era come a lot of uncertainty, at least to the fan base. While Colbert did things a certain way, no one knows what to expect from Khan and his new front office headed by Andy Weidl.
Tuesday, at the NFL Scouting Combine, Khan took to the podium to field questions ahead of the huge scouting event. It was there where Khan spoke about everything from contract discussions with certain players, and plenty more.
Below I dive into what was said in Indianapolis:
When it comes to contract talks, Khan was asked about Cameron Sutton and if the two parties have had any contact. Khan said they feel good about the situation, and have had conversations.
This per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Steelers GM Omar Khan said he feels good about where the team is in contract negotiations with Cam Sutton. He said conversations have commenced between the two parties.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) February 28, 2023
On top of the talks with Sutton, Khan was asked about the organization’s plans with Alex Highsmith. As Highsmith enters the final year of his rookie contract, Khan made it clear the Steelers don’t like to let good, young players get away.
This per Dale Lolley of Steelers.com:
Steelers GM Omar Khan said when asked about Alex Highsmith extension: We don’t like good young players to get away— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) February 28, 2023
Outside of those aforementioned players, a lot of questions were asked about the Steelers quarterbacks who were on the roster in 2022. Mainly questions about Mitch Trubisky.
The Steelers could part ways with Trubisky and save themselves a lot of salary cap space in the process, but Khan said they want Trubisky on the roster next year, and potentially beyond.
This per Brooke Pryor of ESPN:
Steelers GM Omar Khan says they want Mitch Trubisky next year - he’s still under contract for 2023 - and beyond— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) February 28, 2023
While that sounds great, the only way Trubisky would be willing to sign an extension, which could decrease his cap hit in 2023, would be if he had come to grips of being a back-up quarterback for the majority of his prime years in the NFL. Something I doubt any competitor would be willing to do when they are still young.
Nonetheless, Khan spoke glowingly about Trubisky and the work he did with Kenny Pickett throughout his rookie campaign. This also per Lolley:
Steelers GM Omar Khan said he loves the way Mitch Trubisky worked with Kenny Pickett and would like Trubisky to be around long-term, including beyond next season.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) February 28, 2023
Not to be left out, Khan was also asked about the team’s plans for Mason Rudolph. Like a good political figure, Khan said the team hasn’t “closed the door” on a potential Rudolph return. However, as a free agent you would have to wonder why Rudolph would even want to return with Pickett and Trubisky still on the roster.
This per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Khan said Steelers have “not closed the door” on re-signing @Rudolph2Mason.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) February 28, 2023
Outside of comments made regarding the roster, Khan was asked about the changing front office dynamic. Khan spoke about how Weidl and the scouting department will help set the team’s big board; however, when it comes down to the actual selection on draft day that will still come down to a combination of Khan, Mike Tomlin, and team president Art Rooney II. This also per Lolley:
Steelers GM Omar Khan said not much changes in the draft process. Andy Weidl and the scouting dept. help set the board. Then Khan, Mike Tomlin and Art Rooney II decide on the picks.— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) February 28, 2023
As almost all Steelers fans know, Khan’s primary job during the Colbert era was to help manage the team’s salary cap. Since his promotion to GM, Khan stated director of football administration, Cole Macoux, has assumed some of the duties he previously held. However, Khan did say he remains involved in the cap management of the team.
This per Fittipaldo:
Khan said director of football administration Cole Marcoux has assumed some of the duties with the salary cap and contract negotiators Khan used to handle although Khan said he still likes to stay involved in cap management.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) February 28, 2023
Lastly, Khan was asked about the team’s No. 32 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The selection which was obtained when the team traded Chase Claypool to the Chicago Bears. Khan said the team has been discussing what to do with the pick, and that “everything is on the table” as it pertains to the first overall pick in the 2nd Round.
Khan said having tbd No 32 pick gives the Steelers a lot of options and they’ve been discussing all of them. “Everything is on the table.”— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) February 28, 2023
With Khan’s media availability now over at the combine, the next time we’ll hear from any member of the Steelers brass will be at the league meetings in Florida. There Mike Tomlin will speak with media, and then won’t speak again until the pre-draft press conference.
This is the time when the scouting and personnel departments are kicked into high gear with the start of free agency just weeks away, and the draft on the horizon. It is worth keeping an eye on, and that’s what we will be doing right here at BTSC throughout the offseason to keep you up to date with all the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold.
For a rundown of Khan’s time with the media check out the SCN Recap podcast below: