Steelers plan to extend Mike Tomlin; Team to hold QB competition
Mike TomlinHis 2024 status with the Steelers appears to be in doubt as this season winds down, but Pittsburgh’s longtime leader isn’t going anywhere. Tomlin, as expected, will not make the 24 roster as a lame duck.
The Steelers plan to give their veteran coach another extension, Art Ronnie II Thursday said (Via Jerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Tomlin’s current deal runs through the 2024 season. This will be Tomlin’s eighth contract with the Steelers.
success Bill Cowher In 2007, Tomlin is now the longest-serving coach in the NFL. He led the Steelers to the playoffs for the 11th time, dropping the wild card game to the Bills. Evasive about his contract status after that game, Tomlin did return. Tomlin, 51, won a Super Bowl and led Pittsburgh to Super Bowl XLV, a loss to the Packers, two years later. But he has a cold streak in the postseason. The Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since beating Alex Smith– Led the Chiefs to the 2016 divisional round, losing their last five postseason meetings.
Tomlin’s 17-year streak without a losing season has become somewhat of a contentious issue, given that that playoff drought played out during the second half of the streak. It has also now been thirteen seasons since the yellow pants appeared in the Super Bowl, a 31-25 Green Bay win. But Tomlin remains one of the most respected figures in the NFL. The Steelers’ plans for this extension emerged in December, with neither the idea of finishing the 2024 season nor the possibility of the Steelers trading his rights elsewhere getting much traction.
As we heard in November, Tomlin will consider outside candidates for the Steelers offensive coordinator position (Via ESPN’s Brock Pryor). Use the team Eddie Faulkner As a nominal OC but had a QBs coach Mike Sullivan Call plays. Steelers ownership’s confidence in Tomlin’s coordinator selections has declined, somewhat, making this upcoming hire crucial. The Steelers have made some progress since the firing Canada died — the franchise’s first in-season shooting in decades — but it hasn’t been confused with a high-powered offense in years. Kenny Pickett‘s status adds to the importance of Pittsburgh’s play-caller movement.
Tomlin confirmed Thursday (Via Mark Capoli of The Athletic) that Pickett will enter another season as the team’s starting quarterback, but the team plans to have a competition for the position. Mason Rudolph He may be in a position to do so, but Tomlin reminded the starter at the end of the season that he played on a contract that expires this season.
The Beckett-Rudolph rivalry, in its current state, probably won’t excite a large segment of Steelers fans. The 2022 first-round pick was disappointing during his rookie career, being stuck with 13 touchdown passes despite making 24 starts. Rudolph provided a spark on the substitution Mitch Trubisky Late in the season, he led the Steelers to three straight wins to give Tomlin his 10th 10-win season as a head coach. But the high routine that has become the team’s MO in the Tomlin era has not produced many consequences, except perhaps for the team’s hot start in 2020, since the Killer B final in 2017.
Non-Rudolph free agent options that could pay Pickett will be available. while Kirk Cousins And Baker Mayfield They may not be viable candidates here, as both would be rookie candidates to stay with their current clubs, and there would be a number of bridge or high-end backup arms available. This includes Ryan Tannehill, Gardner Minshew, Sam Darnold, Jacoby Brissett, James Winston And others. both of them Russell Wilson And Jimmy Garoppolo They loom as downgraded candidates, with the former almost certain to be released.
It will be interesting to see if the Steelers would consider adding one of these options And Rudolph, who inked a veteran minimum deal in 2023. The Steelers are expected to cut Trubisky, which would create roughly $3 million in cap space, but Rudolph may also want to explore a QB2 opportunity elsewhere. If nothing else, the former third-round pick has played well enough that he probably won’t need to settle for minimum money in 2024.
The QB and OC pieces to Tomlin’s 2024 puzzle could go a long way toward determining how long the Steelers will be willing to stick with the status quo. However, the upcoming extension will keep Tomlin’s bench somewhat cold. But the Steelers’ viability next season will undoubtedly depend on how Tomlin and the GM fare Omar Khan Deal with the big questions of crime.
(tags for translation) Mike Tomlin (R) Pittsburgh Steelers