Why it was necessary for the Steelers to extend Kevin Colbert’s contract

The Pittsburgh Steelers will keep their general manager around through at least the 2021 season. Here’s why getting a deal done with Kevin Colbert was necessary.

Last offseason, Rotoworld ranked all of the NFL general managers, and Pittsburgh’s Kevin Colbert came in 2nd place. While their subjective ranking of general managers isn’t enough reason by itself to give the long-time Steelers GM an extension, there are plenty of other reasons to do that.

The Steelers have had great success over the years with Colbert running the front office. During his tenure in Pittsburgh that began in 2000, Colbert has widely been regarded as one of the best drafting general managers in the NFL. He is responsible for taking players like Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, David DeCastro, Heath Miller, Santonio Holmes, Ryan Shazier, Antonio Brown, Cameron Heyward, Maurkice Pouncey, and many others.

Colbert’s contract with the Steelers was set to expire after the 2020 season, and it was a no-brainer on Pittsburgh’s end when Colbert decided he wanted to stay another year.

The Steelers went through a bit of a rough patch a few years ago when it came to the draft. Though they were striking gold up to 2012 when they landed David DeCastro with the 24th overall pick, Colbert went on a bit of a cold streak – missing on players like Jarvis Jones, Artie Burns, Senquez Golson, and Sammie Coates over a three-year span from 2013-2016

Fortunately, these poor drafts were quickly overshadowed by perhaps the NFL’s best 2017 draft class. Colbert and Tomlin were able to land T.J. Watt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, Josh Dobbs, and Cameron Sutton in the same year.

The Steelers Super Bowl window is quickly beginning to close as Roethlisberger turns 38 years old this March. Keeping Colbert around for at least one more season gives Pittsburgh the stability they need over the next few seasons.

With Colbert and Roethlisberger flirting with retirement over the next few seasons, the Steelers could be at the end of an era and the beginning of a rebuilding phase in Pittsburgh.

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Retaining Kevin Colbert for another season doesn’t guarantee that the Steelers will be competitive next season or that they will have a great draft this next April. However, it’s the right move for a team looking to win football games right now. let’s hope he’s got a few great drafts left in him.