There are certain people who when they speak, you should listen, and in regards to the Pittsburgh Steelers, General Manager Kevin Colbert is one of those people.
No, Colbert isn’t an Art Rooney II type, who carries quite a large stick being the president of a very powerful organization, but Colbert’s words are typically honest, and shine light on several key topics related to the black and gold.
On the eve of the annual NFL owners meeting in Arizona, Colbert, who didn’t attend the meetings due to visiting NCAA Pro Days and scouting prospects, spoke with Pittsburgh media via conference call, and talked about a lot of specific topics which have yet to be decided this offseason.
One of those topics, was how the team’s free agent acquisitions, as little as they may have been, will not impact the team’s approach to the 2017 NFL Draft.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said none of his FA signings will impact what team does in the draft. "It's wide open at this point," he said.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 26, 2017
This is not only obvious, but good news. The Steelers shouldn’t avoid drafting a cornerback due to the signing of Coty Sensabaugh, and likewise with the running back position due to Knile Davis being acquired.
The Steelers still have glaring needs on this 53-man roster, and a nice crop of players are awaiting their chances to fill those voids for the black and gold, don’t let a veteran player always trump a rookie, see 2016 for an example of what young athleticism can do for a team.
Check out some other key topics which were discussed by Colbert.
Big Ben is back...I guess
Per Mark Kaboly of DKPittsburghSports, Colbert said he has yet to hear from the franchise quarterback, but he is taking more of the “no news is good news” approach to this situation. Figuring if the signal caller was truly going to hang up the cleats for good, he would have notified the team by now. Rather, Colbert, and Steelers fans everywhere, expect No. 7 to be back under center in 2017 striving to win a 7th Lombardi championship.
Steelers in Free Agency are probably done
Well, it was good while it lasted. After the Steelers absolutely dominated Week 2 of NFL Free Agency (hopefully you caught the humor there), it seems as if they are done bringing in outside talent — for now.
Colbert: Never say never, but FA signings probably done. "Everything is moving away from free agency into our final draft preparations."— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 26, 2017
The next common question which has been brought up numerous times by fans around the globe is what will happen with DeAngelo Williams? Per Colbert, the signing of Davis doesn’t mean he won’t be asked back, but it certainly doesn’t leave the door open much for No. 34 to be in the backfield in 2017.
Colbert wouldn't say RB Knile Davis means end for DeAngelo Williams, but "his age, size, speed and kick return were very appealing to us."— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 26, 2017
Le’Veon Bell long-term contract
So, the Steelers signed Antonio Brown to a nice new contract before NFL Free Agency got underway, and now people are wondering about Le’Veon Bell’s potential long-term contract.
For those waiting for an answer to that query, well, you might have to wait a little longer.
Regarding signing Bell to long-term deal, Colbert said draft prep is "more urgent business," but that it will be addressed in spring/summer— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) March 26, 2017
It seems as if the Steelers are ready to negotiate a new deal, but they won’t be doing so before the draft, and there really isn’t a reason for them to worry about it now with Bell being franchised for the 2017 season. This is likely a deal which will be done during the preseason/training camp.
There will be more news coming as the NFL Owners meetings get underway, so stay tuned to BTSC for the latest surrounding the black and gold this offseason.