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NFL Insiders: Mike Tomlin Could Step Away from Steelers



Pittsburgh Steelers HC Mike Tomlin
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dec. 23, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers are heading to Buffalo for a postseason matchup that they hope brings the franchise its first win in the playoffs since 2016. But the Bills give the team a tough matchup, but at least it’s a step away from offseason speculation for a week while the Mason Rudolph-led group tries to win. Mike Tomlin wants to will that group to a win, too, but there is speculation about his future.

No, it’s not about if the Steelers will fire him. They won’t. But Adam Schefter and Jay Glazer, who is Tomlin’s close friend, both speculated that it could possible that Tomlin wants to step away.

“They’re not firing Mike Tomlin, but here’s the thing that’s interesting. He’s got a year left on his contract, and there are some people around the league who believe that Mike Tomlin could decide eventually to take some time off like Sean Payton did,” Schefter said. “Maybe take a year off, we’ll see if that’s something that’s on his mind. But Mike Tomlin gets to dictate what happens here, not the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’re not firing him.

“He’s staying on. But he’s staying on if he wants to. If he decides that he’d like to walk, well that’s a different subject. Maybe there’s a team out there, he’s from Washington, his wife loves Los Angeles, maybe one of them wants to lob a call over to the Steelers to see if they could wind up doing something with him”

Meanwhile, Glazer echoed some similar sentiments, that Tomlin will get to decide if he wants to come back. According to Glazer, it will be Tomlin’s ‘choice’ if he wants to return to the team. In July, team president Art Rooney II said to not worry about a new extension, and that it would simply come with time.

“We’ve done the contract at different points and people seem to read more into that than is warranted,” Rooney said to Steelers Nation Radio in July. “The contract will get done when it needs to get done. As Omar said, I expect Mike to be here a lot longer than the existing contract. We’ll get it done when the time comes.”

Tomlin did acknowledge that entering his 17th season as the team’s head coach, he has more years behind him than ahead of him, but at just 51 years old, he still has plenty of energy to continue coaching for quite some time.