NFL Rumors: Pittsburgh Steelers Could Move On From Head Coach Mike Tomlin

One of the NFL's longest-tenured head coaches could have a new home in 2024. According to the Athletic's Dianna Russini, there is "chatter" in league circles that the Pittsburgh Steelers could consider trading head coach Mike Tomlin this offseason.

Tomlin joined the Steelers way back in 2007 following a year as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings and five years as defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He promptly led the franchise to its then-record sixth Super Bowl win in 2008 and an amazing 16 straight years without a losing season.

Tomlin is as accomplished as any coach in the NFL not named Bill Belichick, but the Steelers are a franchise unaccustomed to irrelevance, and they've failed to win a postseason game since 2017. In particular, the Steelers offense has been completely untenable following the decline and departure of longtime franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger; they've ranked 21st, 26th, and 28th in points scored over their last three seasons, and 2022 first-round pick quarterback Kenny Pickett has failed to develop into a reliable franchise passer. It's possible the front office has lost faith that Tomlin can return the offense to a base level of competence.

Still only 51 years old, Tomlin could certainly help an organization in need of a face for the franchise or a revamped defense. In 17 years with the Steelers, Tomlin coached his defense to eight top-10 finishes in points allowed, and his unit is on pace to do it once again this year. He would make sense for a team that believes it already has a starting quarterback or a promising offensive infrastructure in place. The Los Angeles Chargers or Washington Commanders could be solid fits.

That's assuming Tomlin actually becomes available. Trades for head coaches are exceedingly rare, and given the Steelers' recent struggles, Tomlin may not necessarily be in demand. On the other hand, Tomlin has kept his teams competitive enough that an outright firing would be hard to justify. Unless Tomlin and the Steelers decide together that parting ways could be mutually beneficial, it seems likely they'll stick together for at least another year. 

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