Kevin Colbert: Contract extensions a “huge challenge” right now

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Defensive end Cam Heyward has been outspoken about his desire to sign a new contract with the Steelers before the season starts, but he indicated that there hasn’t been much of a push from the team’s side to get something done at this point.

Heyward isn’t the only player entering the final year of his contract. Running back James Conner, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, right tackle Matt Feiler, linebacker Bud Dupree and cornerback Mike Hilton are in the same position while linebacker T.J. Watt and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster are also eligible for extensions.

On Wednesday, General Manager Kevin Colbert didn’t sound terribly optimistic about sealing deals in the near future.

“This year, obviously, is going to be a huge challenge for everybody,” Colbert said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “How do we best make ourselves profitable? Nobody knows. We don’t know what rules we’ll be working under as the fall unfolds. It’s out of my realm. We have to understand there are issues, and we have to react accordingly.”

The Steelers have a longstanding policy of not negotiating contracts during the season and Colbert was asked if the circumstances of this season would lead to a change on that front. He said he doesn’t anticipate a change and that may make for an interesting set of decisions for the team early next year.