"We have left the door open, Kevin and I, to possibly have him fill an ongoing role after the draft," Rooney told reporters. "We will be conducting a search for a new GM starting immediately and probably won't make a hire until after the draft.
"We will be interviewing people, and we've already interviewed two of our in-house candidates: Omar Khan and Brandon Hunt."
The imminent departure of Colbert will leave head coach Mike Tomlin as the lone remaining member of the Steelers' longtime nucleus. Tomlin signed a three-year contract extension with the franchise last year, and Rooney said Friday that Tomlin's responsibilities won't expand or change under a new general manager.
"I don't expect to make dramatic changes in terms of those responsibilities, coach versus GM," Rooney said. "I think it's worked well, and we're not really trying to make a big change there."
Colbert has worked for the Steelers on year-to-year deals since the conclusion of the 2019 season and often maintained that he would be around the franchise as long as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. On Thursday, Roethlisberger announced his retirement after 18 seasons in Pittsburgh.
The 65-year-old Colbert has been with the Steelers for 22 seasons. He took over as general manager in 2010 after a decade as the team's director of football operations. He captured two Super Bowl titles and three AFC championships in Pittsburgh.
Colbert also served as the pro scouting director for the Detroit Lions from 1990-99.