For over two decades, Kevin Colbert held court with the media during the NFL combine while serving as Steelers general manager. The baton has now been passed to Omar Khan, who addressed the media from Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Khan, who is in the middle of his first full offseason on the job since taking over for Colbert, hit on a number of topics regarding the Steelers' offseason plans. Among the topics Khan discussed were the futures of backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky and outside linebacker Alex Highsmith. In the case of both players, Khan expects them to be Steelers for a long time to come.
"Mitch has been great," Khan said, via ESPN. "It's been great to have him around, and I would look forward to having him around here for a long time. Not only this year but for a long time."
Khan said that he likes the way Trubisky has worked with Kenny Pickett, who replaced him in the starting lineup during the fourth game of the 2022 season. Khan added that Trubisky provides Pittsburgh with the luxury of having two starting-caliber quarterbacks. Trubisky comes at a cost, however, in the form of a $10.625 cap hit for the upcoming season.
When asked about Highsmith, Khan alluded to the Steelers wanting to keep him in Pittsburgh for the long haul. A third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Highsmith was among the league leaders last year with 14.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. Highsmith, who with T.J. Watt is part of arguably pro football's best outside linebacker duo, has flourished in the starting lineup since replacing former first-round Bud Dupree ahead of the 2021 season.
"You guys know our history," Khan said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "When we have a young, up-and-coming player, we don't like to let those guys go."
Khan also offered insight into the contract situation regarding cornerback Cam Sutton, who is slated to become a free agent on March 15. Khan said that the team has begun conversations with Sutton's representatives. A third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Sutton set career highs with three interceptions and 15 passes defensed last year.
"We love and think very highly of Cam," Khan said. "Conversations have commenced, and we will see where it goes. Just like all our other free agents, everything is on the table."
Khan also shed light on the Steelers' draft structure in the post-Colbert era. A salary cap expert, Khan said that assistant general manager Andy Weidl is in charge of assembling the team's draft board. Director of player scouting Mark Sadowski and director of college scouting Dan Colbert will also be part of that process. Khan, Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin will be the ones determining which players the Steelers will select during the draft.