The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of what’s been a long off-season after a dismal ending to their 2018 campaign. And there’s a lot of work that needs done. Since the final whistle against Cincinnati, headlines have surrounded the Steelers for all the wrong reasons.
GM Kevin Colbert realizes that, and while speaking at the NFL Combine on Wednesday, he was able to answer questions surrounding the availability of receiver Antonio Brown.
Last week, Colbert stated three teams had contacted the Steelers about Brown’s availability. Since then, that number has grown.
Yet despite the rapid interest in the All-Pro receiver, Colbert reiterated his commitment to getting the best deal possible rather than sacrificing one of the league’s best players simply to get him out of town.
“The less you would play him, the better, but if a team comes through with the best compensation, we have to balance that out. OK, we’re going to play him, twice a year, but we’re going to get the best compensation, so it’s our job to do the better job with the compensation and you have to weigh that all into the discussion” said Colbert.
While trade talks around Brown continue to ramp up, Colbert also expanded on a handful of other topics, including the perception of his team’s locker room.
“I really don’t agree with the perception that there’s huge drama in the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room. Again, coach Tomlin treats our players like men. He gives them the opportunity to be a man, and he tries to grow them not only as professional football players, but as fathers, brothers, just as men. So really I have a complete disagreement that our locker room is anything but very functional.”
Colbert also spoke on the possibility of LB Ryan Shazier making a return to the NFL. Despite the progress being made by Shazier, Colbert said there is an “overall understanding” that Shazier won’t be playing in 2019 but will still be a part of the roster.
The topic of struggling DB Artie Burns came up after a disappointing 2018 campaign. “He’s got to find his game” said Colbert, who is favored to select a defensive player early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
While the evaluation process continues for Colbert, he will have more questions to answer as the days grow in Indianapolis.
No Guaranteed Money in Dwayne Haskins’ Low-Risk Steelers Contract
Further details of quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers have emerged, demonstrating just how low-risk the acquisition is for the club.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Haskins’ Reserve/Future contract with the Steelers is a one-year, $850,000 deal with no guaranteed money.
No bells or whistles to Dwayne Haskins' reserve/future deal with the Steelers: 1-year, $850K, 0 guarantees.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 26, 2021
He's got plenty of money still due from WFT.
This was all about fit for Haskins, with a good chance to develop in Pittsburgh, while the Steelers take a zero risk flier.
Simply put, the Steelers will not be on the hook for any money if they decide to part ways further down the line. If Haskins turns out to be a diamond in the rough for Pittsburgh, they will have acquired him on a tremendous bargain.
Haskins is not getting a raw deal financially either, as he is still being paid on his four-year, $14,416,611 rookie deal with Washington. Signing with the Steelers gives him an opportunity to prove himself with a steady organization without worrying about the financial implications.
A first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Haskins was waived by Washington in late December after the young quarterback was photographed maskless at a strip club, in clear violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols and mid-pandemic common sense.
Haskins was shaky over two seasons in Washington, passing for 12 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, while completing just over 60% of his passes.
The Steelers are hoping Haskins can flash the talent he showed in his final season at Ohio State, where he completed 70% of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018.
By signing Haskins to such a low-risk, team-friendly contract, Pittsburgh will have an excellent opportunity to determine if some of that talent is still there.
Report: Steelers Interviewing Mike Sullivan for QB Coach Vacancy
The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly interviewing Mike Sullivan for their quarterbacks coach vacancy, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.
A 17-year coaching veteran at the NFL level, Sullivan was most recently the quarterbacks coach for the Denver Broncos in 2018. He also has previous experience as an offensive coordinator with the New York Giants (2016-17) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-12).
Sullivan is currently the Director of Recruiting at his alma mater Army, a position he has held since March of last year.
Sullivan would also bring additional championship pedigree to the Steelers, having won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI with the Giants.
Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning had one of the best seasons of his career in 2011 under Sullivan, passing for a career-high 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.
The Steelers are looking to fill the void left by Matt Canada, who was officially promoted to offensive coordinator on Monday.
The Steelers are talking to Mike Sullivan, a long-time former offensive coordinator/QB coach with the NY Giants and Denver Broncos, about becoming their QB coach, per source.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 26, 2021
Mic Drop: Rooting for Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell Is Easy Choice
The idea that either Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell will become a Super Bowl champion after Super Bowl LV isn’t exactly something that makes Steelers fans excited for the big game. With that said, Mike Asti feels deciding who to root for should be an easy choice for Steelers fans. He wants to set the record straight once and for all of why Pittsburgh fans need to stop grouping the two former Steelers together.
While they both left the franchise in a cloud of drama, Le’Veon Bell doesn’t deserve to be treated as if he committed the same kind of sins against the Steelers that Antonio Brown did.