Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert seems to have put the Jameis Winston-to-Pittsburgh rumors to bed once and for all.
Joining The Fan Morning Show Wednesday, Colbert said that the report claiming Pittsburgh offered Winston a more lucrative deal than the New Orleans Saints is false.
“I can honestly say that we absolutely made no negotiation or offer to a veteran quarterack,”Colbert told 93.7 The Fan.
Still, he did not rule out that signing the former Bucs signal caller was discussed.
Colbert also reaffirmed that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to be fully healthy when next season begins. Roethlisberger, 38, is coming off a season-ending elbow injury last season.
“The thing that really keeps our optimism alive is not only having Ben back, but maybe having a better Ben back,” Colbert said. “I try to be optimistic in any situation. When he sits for a year he also rested the rest of his body for a year. Maybe the surgery will help him have even a stronger arm coming back. Those are the types of things that I look for, and all indications are that he’s on a solid course to be back full speed.”
The general manager also doubled-down on the organization’s support for current backup quarterback Mason Rudolph. Colbert did admit that it would be ideal for Rudolph not to be pressed into duty once again.
“We’re hopeful that Mason doesn’t get to play a lot, quite honestly,” Colbert said. “If he’s not called on to play that means that Ben’s doing what we had hoped for. We’re very comfortable with Mason where he was last year. As I’ve stated before he was five and three as a starter.”
Steelers fans and media members alike had been calling for the team to sign Winston as the their new backup for months, but Colbert’s comments effectively shut those hopes down this morning.
Winston signed a one-year deal with the Saints Tuesday, with a base value of $1.1 million. He can also earn $3.4 million in incentives as part of the new contract.
Jameis Winston’s one-year contract with the #Saints:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 29, 2020
$148,000 signing bonus
$952,000 base salary
$1.76M playtime incentives
$1.8M playoff playtime incentives
$40,000 Pro Bowl incentive
Base $1.1M. Max $4.7M with incentives.
Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing years in 2019, but also tossed a league-high 30 interceptions. He threw 33 touchdowns, the second-most last season.
Tampa Bay boasted the leagues’s best passing game in 2019, while the Pittsburgh passing attack — primarily led by Rudolph and Devlin “Duck” Hodges — was ranked 31st.