Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert will step down following the 2022 NFL Draft, president Art Rooney II confirmed on Friday.
Colbert had not made an official announcement, but it had been previously reported that he would step down following the draft, though that report was borough into question this week. Colbert’s contract with the team is expiring, but Rooney said that Colbert may stay on in an advisory role.
“Kevin Colbert is stepping down as our GM after the draft this year. We have left the door open, Kevin and I, to possibly have him fill a role, an ongoing role, after the draft. But we will be conducting a search for a new GM, starting immediately.”
Rooney said the current staff will remain in place through the draft, with a hire to come after, though the hiring process is ongoing.
The team will look for external candidates, Rooney said, but he mentioned that two internal candidates have already been interviewed for the position: vice president Omar Khan and pro scouting director Brandon Hunt.
Both Hunt and Khan have been in the mix for multiple general manager positions around the league. Khan interviewed for the Chicago Bears vacancy earlier this week, while Hunt spoke with the Las Vegas Raiders about their GM position.
Rooney said that he does not expect the team to change its internal structure, with the new general manager slotted between himself and Mike Tomlin, and that the changeover at general manager will not result in any additional responsibility for Tomlin.
Colbert has been with the team since 2000, in largely the same position, though he was given increases in title over the years. The hiring of a new general manager will be the first for Rooney, who took over as team president in 2003 from his father Dan Rooney. The elder Rooney served as general manager himself in 1969-70 before becoming president and hired Colbert in 2000.