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Steelers’ Art Rooney II Named 3rd Best Owner in NFL



Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II
Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II at the NFL owner's meetings, March 29, 2023. -- Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

Steelers team president Art Rooney II was named the third-best owner in the NFL by the Athletic on Friday. The criteria for the list were simple but flawed. Since the owner took over the team, what was the win percentage under their guidance. For Rooney, he has the third-best win percentage since taking over in 2017. The team is 0-3 in the playoffs since that time, but his .613 win percentage and 67-42-2 record overall are solid.

“Rooney became team president in 2003 and became majority owner after his Hall of Fame father, Dan Rooney, died in 2017. The Steelers have transitioned to a new general manager, Omar Khan, during that time, but otherwise have made few important changes,” they wrote.

This is a fascinating time for this time to come out, but as the Athletic notes, the most significant change was transitioning from Kevin Colbert to Omar Khan. So far, that seems to be paying dividends. Still, the coaching questions are rising with Mike Tomlin’s shaky performance this season amid feelings that have started bubbling up throughout multiple years. Pittsburgh has not won a playoff game under Rooney’s vision yet, and the last time they officially won a playoff game was in 2016 against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s their longest streak of the post-merger era.

As the team president, 2024 could be the most arduous offseason Rooney faces yet. Tomlin is due for an extension, with his contract running just through the 2024 season. With how the year has gone, it might not be as much of a slam dunk as it appeared this summer when those discussions started to creep up. But he did say in the summer not to read much into that.

“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 at training camp. “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.”

The Steelers have only had three head coaches since 1969, and that longstanding practice of coaching stability, which has led the franchise to six Super Bowls in that time, means that pretty much everyone thought Tomlin would be sticking around for a while. It seems likely he will stay, but there has to be a hard look in the mirror as an organization after another season tolling the line of mediocrity.