There are more than a handful of head coaching vacancies around the NFL as we enter the second half of January. The conclusion of the 2023 regular season saw five teams fire their leaders, adding to the three that pulled the plug earlier in the year, leaving a total of eight jobs that needed to be filled around the league.
NFL: Could Mike Tomlin Leave Pittsburgh After This Season?
Could another big-name head coach be on the move? Mike Tomlin will make a decision about his future after the season. More here: pic.twitter.com/kntpSjgjv8
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 13, 2024
The Patriots have already made their hire and replaced Bill Belichick, but no other team has made any announcements as of Monday afternoon. And that could be because many of them are waiting to see what Mike Tomlin does.
Tomlin has been the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the past 17 years, and has incredibly never had a losing season in that time. He has a Super Bowl win on his resume, though the deep playoff runs for his teams happened more toward the beginning of his tenure. He is considered to be one of the best coaches in the NFL and has been for some time, and his personal situation could be the reason why some teams are holding out to see what decision the 51-year-old makes on his future.
According to multiple reports put out this week by Mike Florio of NBC Sports, no matter how the Steelers finish out their current postseason run, Tomlin will take some time after the season to “step back and evaluate whether or not he wants to continue coaching in Pittsburgh.”
Tomlin Could Be Making A Power Play For Big Pay Day
The NFL’s current longest-tenured head coaches with one team:
1. Mike Tomlin (17 seasons)
2. John Harbaugh (16 seasons)
3. Andy Reid (11 seasons)
4. (tie) Sean McDermott, Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay (7 seasons)
7. (tie) Zac Taylor and Matt LaFleur (5 seasons)
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2024
The release of the information could be a power play from Tomlin himself. He is entering the final year of his contract in 2024, and will be looking to join the club of the highest paid coaches in the league. Him threatening to leave could force the Steelers to put more money on the table, and it could also be a sign to other teams that a bidding war is possible for his services.
This has led some to believe that it is Tomlin’s status that is holding up the current hiring process around the NFL. Should Pittsburgh make a first-round exit against the Bills on Wild Card Weekend, then we may start to see some action if Tomlin comes around to making a decision in the coming days.
Mike Tomlin’s first year as head coach of the Steelers was 2007. He is just the third head coach that the franchise has employed since 1969.