Top Priorities for Steelers' New GM After Kevin Colbert Resignation

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2022

Top Priorities for Steelers' New GM After Kevin Colbert Resignation

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    Don Wright/Associated Press

    The new Pittsburgh Steelers general manager has a tough task in front of them. 

    Pittsburgh is in a transitional phase at quarterback for the first time in two decades following Ben Roethlisberger's retirement. 

    The replacement for the retiring Kevin Colbert needs to find the right fit at quarterback to avoid falling behind the team's AFC North rivals. 

    Roethlisberger's successor may not come through the 2022 NFL draft because the quarterback crop is not as strong as previous years, and it may require a trade up from No. 20 to get a premier player given the typical nature of draft night. 

    Jimmy Garoppolo and a few other quarterbacks are available on the trade market. That could be the ideal avenue to find a new quarterback. 

    Pittsburgh could go through the draft to bring in Roethlisberger's successor, but that move might require the addition of a veteran backup to bring him along.

    After the quarterback decision is made, the new general manager needs to build a solid core around that player to try to keep up with the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns

Find the Right Quarterback

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    The new general manager needs to have a say in which quarterback takes over for Ben Roethlisberger. 

    It is the most important offseason decision for the franchise, and it makes no sense for Kevin Colbert to choose the guy when he is set to depart the GM role after the 2022 NFL draft. 

    Colbert could assist in the decision-making process because of his experience in the front office, but he should not have the final call. 

    Pittsburgh may be at the mercy of other quarterback vacancies when it comes to trading for a veteran signal-caller, like Garoppolo.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a quarterback after Tom Brady's retirement, and the Green Bay Packers might be in the market for someone if Aaron Rodgers opts to move on.

    Pittsburgh probably will not be in the mix for Rodgers. Denver makes the most sense as a landing spot for Rodgers, if he leaves Green Bay, since former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is the Broncos' new head coach. 

    Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr could all be on the move at the right price. They might fit well in Pittsburgh if the right pieces are around them. 

    The other option is to approach the draft with the intent of taking a quarterback with the No. 20 overall pick.

    The Steelers could be fourth in line to take a quarterback if all the potential openings are filled through the draft. Denver, Washington and New Orleans could all take quarterbacks ahead of Pittsburgh. 

    A trade above the Saints would be the ideal move in that situation, and the first-round quarterback should be accompanied by a veteran backup free agent. 

    Mason Rudolph's time in Pittsburgh could be numbered, and it may be wise to move on from him to start anew at quarterback with a first-round draft pick and a veteran backup, like Bridgewater or Jacoby Brissett.

Build Best Possible Supporting Cast for New Quarterback

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Pittsburgh should learn from the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals as to how to build around a young quarterback. 

    The Bengals gave Joe Burrow two young targets in Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins through the last two drafts, and they put a few other key pieces around him.

    Baltimore improved its wide receiving room last offseason, but the improvements were derailed by Lamar Jackson's injury in the second half of the regular season. 

    Pittsburgh needs to make sure its new quarterback has plenty of weapons to work with in the passing game to compete right away with the Ravens and Bengals. Cleveland should be in the mix for the AFC North crown as well, but the Browns lack depth at wide receiver. 

    The Steelers have Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool under contract, and there is always the potential to bring back JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency. 

    Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth performed well in their rookie seasons, and they will be nice pieces at running back and tight end for the new signal-caller to work with.

    The new general manager should also look to improve the offensive line, which went through a shuffle last season. Roethlisberger was sacked on 38 occasions in his final season. 

    If Pittsburgh improves at wide receiver and offensive line, it will be in the best possible scenario to succeed with whomever lines up under center in Week 1. 

Extend Minkah Fitzpatrick's Contract

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    Evan Vucci/Associated Press

    The new general manager needs to have a say in which quarterback takes over for Ben Roethlisberger. 

    It is the most important offseason decision for the franchise, and it makes no sense for Kevin Colbert to choose the guy when he is set to depart the GM role after the 2022 NFL draft. 

    Colbert could assist in the decision-making process because of his experience in the front office, but he should not have the final call. 

    Pittsburgh may be at the mercy of other quarterback vacancies when it comes to trading for a veteran signal-caller, like Garoppolo.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a quarterback after Tom Brady's retirement, and the Green Bay Packers might be in the market for someone if Aaron Rodgers opts to move on.

    Pittsburgh probably will not be in the mix for Rodgers. Denver makes the most sense as a landing spot for Rodgers, if he leaves Green Bay, since former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is the Broncos' new head coach. 

    Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr could all be on the move at the right price. They might fit well in Pittsburgh if the right pieces are around them. 

    The other option is to approach the draft with the intent of taking a quarterback with the No. 20 overall pick.

    The Steelers could be fourth in line to take a quarterback if all the potential openings are filled through the draft. Denver, Washington and New Orleans could all take quarterbacks ahead of Pittsburgh. 

    A trade above the Saints would be the ideal move in that situation, and the first-round quarterback should be accompanied by a veteran backup free agent. 

    Mason Rudolph's time in Pittsburgh could be numbered, and it may be wise to move on from him to start anew at quarterback with a first-round draft pick and a veteran backup, like Bridgewater or Jacoby Brissett.

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