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Steelers 'optimistic' GM Kevin Colbert will be back

The Pittsburgh Steelers still have work to do to keep general manager Kevin Colbert in town, but it sounds like progress is being made.

Owner Art Rooney II told reporters Wednesday that all signs point to Colbert returning for at least one more season.

"I'm optimistic about Kevin being back next year. We have to get something done. The sooner, the better," Rooney said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Colbert is in the final year of his contract, which expires after the 2020 NFL Draft. During the 2019 campaign, the Steelers and Colbert decided to wait until after the season to discuss the future.

With the offseason arriving, those talks will begin in earnest.

Some dot-connectors linked Colbert possibly taking a job with the Carolina Panthers this year, joining former Steelers minority shareholder and current Panthers owner David Tepper. Those rumors have fallen mostly silent.

Colbert remains one of the best and most widely respected GMs in the NFL. His penchant for finding value picks in the mid-to-late rounds, especially at the wide receiver position, have kept the Steelers well-stocked for years. Pittsburgh has won two Super Bowls, and gone to three, under Colbert's guidance.

One of the GM's most pressing offseason concerns will be re-signing free agent pass rusher Bud Dupree. Rooney said Wednesday he hopes to retain the outside linebacker who is coming off a career-best 11.5-sack season.

"We'd like to have Bud back, no question about it. We will do our best to make it happen," Rooney said, via Dulac.

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