Updated: Jan 13, 2021
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Steelers vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan interviewed with the Houston Texans last week for their vacant general manager position. Khan ended up not getting the job, as they hired Nick Caserio as their new GM, who previously was the pro personnel director for the New England Patriots.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Texans had offered Khan the job and were negotiating a contract with him but the Texans at the last minute decided to go with Caserio due to executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby persuading owner Cal McNair to go with Caserio instead.
Khan has another opportunity to become a GM, however. The Carolina Panthers announced on Monday that they've finished two more interviews for their open general manager position - Seattle Seahawks vice president of football operations Scott Fitterer and Khan.
Panthers owner David Tepper used to be a part-owner of the Steelers. He purchased a 5% stake in the franchise in 2009. Khan has been with the Steelers since 2001, so I'm sure the two know each other well. Khan is also highly regarded by many in the Steelers organization for his talent to maneuver the cap.
In addition to his interview with the Texans, Khan has interviewed for GM vacancies in the past with the Seahawks (2010), St. Louis Rams (2012), New York Jets (2013) and Miami Dolphins (2014), according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Many believe Khan is the heir apparent to Kevin Colbert once he retires. Colbert is currently on a year-to-year deal, and his contract runs out at the end of the 2021 NFL Draft. Khan would be a huge loss for the Steelers as they head into an offseason with 19 unrestricted free agents and are projected to be $21,009,219 over the estimated $176 million cap limit for each team, according to Overthecap.com.
There's a $175 million cap floor this year because of the revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cap limit per club in 2020 was $198.2, so the Steelers have to make some tough decisions this year with key players set to become unrestricted free agents and the cap significantly lower. To make matters worse, they might have to do it without Khan if he joins Tepper in Carolina.
According to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic, if the Steelers lose Khan to Carolina, the Steelers would be eligible to receive a pair of third-round picks in upcoming drafts per new NFL rules on minority hiring.