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Would Mike Tomlin Leave Steelers For a Broadcasting Job?



Steelers Mike Tomlin

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio joined 93.7 The Fan’s PM Team Wednesday afternoon to discuss an intriguing rumor about Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin with radio show co-hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller.

Whether it be because of the daily rigors of his post, being underpaid relative to his success, or not getting the respect he desires, Tomlin might have explored the option of jumping ship for a television gig.

Florio likened the situation to that of Tomlin’s predecessor, CBS NFL analyst Bill Cowher.

“I remember thinking then and believing then — firmly believing then — that after beating the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL and (Seattle head coach) Mike Holmgren what was top-of-the-market then … There was no way the Rooney were ever going to pay Bill Cowher that kind of money,” Florio said.

He was also of the opinion that Cowher’s time in front of the camera would be temporary and that he’d pick the headset back up when another franchise shelled out enough. Then, Cowher settled into his new job and decided to stay.

“Is that a template that Tomlin would use?” Florio asked hypothetically. “Leave got a while and then come back and get the kind of money from a team that the Steelers are just never going to pay?”

Totals of how much top-end head coaches really make nowadays are foggy, though.

“What they (teams) do is, they have the official number that gets reported to the league that doesn’t get disclosed the way player salary does,” Florio explained. “Then, there’s other money that gets funneled to the coaches from related companies, just to kind of keep the curve down.”

He estimated that New England’s Bill Belichick is worth around $25 million and the Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay is near $20 million. If former New Orleans coach Sean Payton ditches his job with FOX, he’d be in the same ballpark as the latter.

Meanwhile, he thinks Tomlin could be pulling in less than half of that.

“You leave, you wait a little while, and then you come back and you name your price,” Florio said. “I could see that as a possible path for him (Tomlin). It’s not implausible.”

Of course, along with the economics of the profession, Tomlin might think he’s not getting the credit he feels is due along with his accomplishments. The fact has been put out there, ad nauseam, that he hasn’t yet had a losing campaign in his time in charge in Pittsburgh.

Florio also pointed out that no head coach has ever hoisted the Lombardi Trophy with two different teams. That, he reasoned, could be on Tomlin’s radar, as well.

Only one active head coach has even brought two different clubs to the Super Bowl — that being Kansas City’s Andy Reid. Dick Vermeil, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Don Shula, Mike Holmgren, and John Fox are the others.

“All the ones that have that one or more under their belt with one team, they want to be the first one to win it with a second team,” Florio said.

So, would networks like the idea of Tomlin joining as an analyst?

“If that word would get out, yeah, I think everybody would be interested,” Florio said. “Even if there isn’t a seat open, they’ll just pull another seat up to the table. That’s what you can do in a studio show, you can just add somebody else to the mix any time you want.”

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