LATROBE, Pa. — The end of a successful front office era in Pittsburgh might be near.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Saturday he did not get a contract extension this offseason because he prefers to go year-to-year.
Colbert’s deal now goes to May 2020 instead of aligning with that of coach Mike Tomlin, who’s under contract through 2021 with an option year for 2022 after finalizing an extension this week.
“That was a personal request on my part, and I’m very grateful that (team president) Art (Rooney II) is accommodating to that,” Colbert told a group of reporters Saturday from training camp at Saint Vincent College. “That’s just where myself and our family are in our lives. We want to make those decisions on a year-to-year basis from this point forward.”
Colbert said he discussed this possibility with Rooney two years ago, when the Steelers last extended his contract.
Since joining the organization in 2010 as director of football operations, Colbert has constructed rosters that won two Super Bowls and made 12 playoff appearances. The Steelers changed his title to general manger in 2010.
Colbert admits his age, 62, is a factor, but he’s not thinking in terms of a swan song in 2019 and doesn’t have a succession plan in place.
“I still love what I do,” Colbert said. “As long as I still love what I do, I can see myself continuing to do it. We just want to do that on a year-to-year.”
Colbert — who began his NFL career as a BLESTO scout in 1984, working his way through the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions scouting departments — said his tenacity for the job remains as fierce as ever, and he’s eager to continue working alongside Tomlin, who took some heat for missing the playoffs last season.
Tomlin and Colbert have collaborated on a 125-66-1 record with eight playoff victories and two Super Bowl appearances since 2007.
“Mike Tomlin is a great NFL coach,” Colbert said. “Anybody who argues that is not paying attention to the facts. I’m very blessed to work with coach Tomlin, the Rooneys, and having Mike a part of that moving forward, to me that’s a no brainer.”