Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert talked to members of the Pittsburgh media on Wednesday and below is a summation of what he said based on the tweets sent out by Ed Bouchette and Bob Labriola.
Colbert reportedly referred to the team being 8-8 in 2012 several times in his talk, meaning of course that it was unacceptable. Colbert said, “If we don\’t change a roster that produced 8-8, we\’d be silly to expect a better result.” He also added, “We\’re not married to anybody.”
As far as offseason front office work goes, Colbert indicated that the team was unlikely to use the franchise tag on any of their unrestricted free agents this offseason. That is really not shocking news as nobody expected that they would. They couldn\’t afford to from a salary cap standpoint anyways.
As far as unrestricted players such as cornerback Keenan Lewis, guard Ramon Foster and tackle Max Starks go, Colbert appeared to give the indication that all would be allowed to test the free agency waters. “We won\’t know what an individual player will cost until he gets out there,” Colbert reportedly said.
It should not be news that wide receiver Mike Wallace and running back Rashard Mendenhall will most likely be allowed to fly the coop as that writing has been on the wall for some time now. Colbert, however, didn\’t mention them specifically.
The first offseason priority for the Steelers will be to get under the cap by the March deadline and Colbert indicated that process will include making terminations and doing contract restructures and extensions. No surprises there.
The candidates of course to be restructured are quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, linebacker Lawrence Timmons and wide receiver Antonio Brown. Although Colbert didn\’t say it, the candidates to be terminated have to be linebacker James Harrison and guard Willie Colon. Neither of these two names should be a surprise.
Colbert also voiced his unhappiness about the Steelers running game in 2012, and said, “Where we were in the running game last year was indicative of the talent at the position … That group of players didn\’t produce the way we anticipated they would.”
Both Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman are restricted free agents this offseason, but due to the current lack of running backs under contract right now for 2013, you still have to think that both will be tendered at the lowest level. That, however, is not guaranteed by the way.
Colbert said that they do not regret the decision to release running back Chris Rainey following his arrest last week in Florida. The Steelers GM reportedly said in regard to Rainey, “When we cut a player because of discipline, it\’s because the player has lost the trust of the organization.”