The Pittsburgh Steelers are likely not going to give head coach Mike Tomlin a contract extension before the 2023 season, but president Art Rooney II doesn’t think people should look into that too much.
In the past, the Steelers have traditionally extended the contract of their head coach when he had two years remaining on his deal, dating back through Bill Cowher’s tenure.
The last time Tomlin got a new deal, in 2021, that wasn’t the case. The Steelers waited until the summer before the final season of his contract to re-up it, adding three years to the contract that now runs through 2024.
It seems like that’s the plan again, as both general manager Omar Khan and now Rooney himself have reiterated that they anticipate Tomlin being the Steelers coach for years to come.
“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 on Thursday. “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 famously have only had three head coaches since 1969, and that longstanding practice of coaching stability, that has led the franchise to six Super Bowls in that time, means that pretty much everyone thinks Tomlin will be sticking around for a while.
“That’s not my department, but I anticipate Coach and I are going to be together here for a long time,” Khan said on Thursday. “He and I have a great relationship both personally and professionally. That’s not my business, that’s his. Not my department, but I anticipate us both being here for a long time.”
Tomlin did acknowledge that entering his 17th season as the team’s head coach, that 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.
“I’m just at the stage of my career where I don’t care about contracts, to be honest with you, man,” Tomlin said. “I appreciate the opportunity. I’m singularly focused. I’m thankful that I’m in a stage in life and in my career that that’s a non-issue for me.”