The talk about Mike Tomlin and the Steelers moving on from each other this offseason grows with each passing week. But it’s not necessarily about firing Tomlin, who has one year left on the deal, as much as it could be about trading him to the right spot. Teams will be looking for a quality coach this offseason.
One of those teams will be the Los Angeles Chargers, who fired head coach Brandon Staley. Colin Cowherd sees the Chargers as a potential fit for Tomlin, especially since he believes the team will keep Kenny Pickett for too long, something Tomlin might not be on board with going forward.
“I do think the [Los Angeles] Chargers make sense. He doesn’t necessarily give a rip about personnel. He would look up and go, ‘Here’s what I don’t want. I won with a star quarterback. I don’t want a backup.’ You could get out of the Kenny Pickett situation, which is weird,” Cowherd said on the Colin Cowherd Podcast. “It’s dicey because he’s a local kid. The Steelers don’t want to send him shipping. They’re going to be totally sensitive with Kenny Pickett, and he’s just not good enough, period. I think it’s a time to exit. You leave, you got Super Bowls. You have the stories for a month. Networks vying for him. I don’t think he wants control in the front office, he won’t get it. I actually think Tomlin to the Chargers makes a ton of sense.”
So, Cowherd is making this as much about Mike Tomlin and his desire to get out as it is with the Steelers having trouble moving on from Pickett. Cowherd is the first one to float the Chargers as an idea, but he is not the first guy to mention the idea that Tomlin could get traded.
NFL head coaches are traded somewhat infrequently, but it’s not unheard of. Seven NFL coaches have been traded in the last 25 years, with a wide variety of compensation in return.
In 1997, Bill Parcells netted a first, second, third and fourth round picks along with $300,000 in his trade from the New England Patriots to then New York Jets. Mike Holmgren got the Green Bay Packer just a second-round pick when he went to the Seattle Seahawks in 1999.
The most recent trade came just this past offseason, when the New Orleans Saints traded Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos. Denver sent first and second-round picks to New Orleans and got a third-rounder along with Payton.
But if there is one who could make sense this offseason, Tomlin might be that guy.