There is probably one big takeaway from comments Kevin Colbert made, as reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Don’t expect Joe Haden or Vance McDonald to go anywhere. A few minutes ago, Fowler passed along this quote from Colbert, who sounded excited to see where Haden and McDonald progress with a full year under their belt.
GM Kevin Colbert seems eager to see what Joe Haden and Vance McDonald do w/ full Steelers calendar. “Having that type of player with us for whole offseason will only enhance their abilities to help us,” said Colbert about the players acquired in late Aug.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 19, 2018
There’s been speculation the Steelers could cut ties with either player during the offseason. McDonald was thought about earlier in the year but even before this quote from Colbert, was expected to return based on the upside he gave the Steelers when healthy.
Haden was a more dicey situation. Recent reports indicate the team wants to keep Haden but only at a lower price. It’s unclear if that happens or not but Pittsburgh’s intentions certainly seems to be to keep him around.
Neither should come as a big surprise. Dumping McDonald just creates another need at tight end, adding to a lengthy list. Haden is well-liked by the locker room and coaching staff and though he probably wasn’t as good as he was perceived, was arguably the best cornerback on the roster last year and is worthy of bringing back.
To create cap space elsewhere, the Steelers have already restructured the deals of David DeCastro and Stephon Tuitt. They could do the same with other players if need be. Colbert also recently hinted at cutting veteran players still under contract. J.J. Wilcox is a sure bet to get a pink slip and many think Mike Mitchell is going to be shown the door as well. William Gay and Coty Sensabaugh may be held onto longer but are far from locks to make the roster.