It is quite remarkable in a season in which Ben Roethlisberger started all 16 games that the Steelers would once again finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs. This means that Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert will be in the same situation as he was following the 2012 season.
Colbert promised changes to the roster following the Steelers' disappointing 2012 season, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"When you're 12-4 and a playoff team, sometimes you get mesmerized by your success and you get a little reluctant to change," Colbert said.
"If we don't change a roster that produced 8-8, we'd be silly to expect a better result because it's the same group of guys. ... I guess it's easier to make decisions to change when you're 8-8 than when you're 12-4."
Despite the changes, the Steelers' record remained the same, so you have to figure that Colbert will have even more moves planned for the 2014 offseason. However, after a strong finish to the 2013 season with eight wins in their final 12 games, how significant will these changes be?
That will be determined over the next few months, but there will certainly be plenty for Colbert and the rest of the Steelers brass to consider when it comes to contracts. But keep in mind that the Steelers always believe that they are a contender and will feel confident following their 8-4 finish to the season.
With that said, there are a number of important players at or nearing the end of their contracts, and the Steelers will have to decide whether it is worth keeping them around for the future or if it is time to move in another direction.
For the Steelers, it will be about putting the best football team out on the field in 2014, and that may make for some surprising roster moves (or non-moves). Here are 10 key players to keep an eye on as the Steelers evaluate their contract status for next season and beyond.