Should Steelers Extend Tomlin’s Contract Early?


Tomlin is a proven winner – for the most part.  With not one but two articles recently talking about extending Tomlin’s contract now, one has to wonder: Isn’t that a bit early?

Ron Cook from the PPG (back in June) and a follow up by Len Pasquarelli (today) peg Tomlin as a yes for extending the contract.  Len actually doesn’t say the Steelers should as much as he says the fans would approve of such a deal.  But he does make a pretty convincing case.

I’m going to go out on a limb and go against the grain and say that the Steelers should hold off for now in considering a Tomlin contract extension.    The Steelers have seen many successes under Tomlin – in five seasons Tomlin is 60-28, a post season appearance in all but one season, two Super Bowl appearances, and a championship.  Those are pretty sweet stats.  However, there’s been a bit of debate as to whether Tomlin has been a successful coach on his own.  I tend to follow the line of thinking that Tomlin has seen most of his success under Bill Cowher’s squad leftover from his tenure.  That’s in no way taking away from the fact that he can manage these big lugs in the locker room and on the field during game time.  I’ve said before that it takes a good coach to manage so many egos.

Also, with the switch at OC from Bruce Arians to Todd Haley, Tomlin will be responsible for making sure that Haley gets this offense firing on all cylinders – especially before it’s too late in the season.  There’s debate as to whether Arians’ firing was Tomlin’s decision or the boss man’s upstairs.  It is also unclear, though I’m sure Tomlin would cryptically tell you otherwise, if Tomlin was fully responsible for hiring Todd Haley.  If the answer to both of these debates is that Tomlin was responsible, then we should wait and see how things pan out with Haley.  What’s acceptable for a passing grade on this?  Not sure with the man upstairs, but I’m guessing Steeler Nation wants nothing less than a playoff birth.

The Steelers certainly don’t need to rush and sign this guy this season anyways.  They have the option of an extension in 2013 through his current contract.  I say just wait and see how things go in 2012.  And, let’s be clear about this – I’m not saying the Steelers shouldn’t sign him if 2012 turns into a blunder.  But, before we give him more than $7 million a year for the next 5 years, maybe we should see how his decision making pans out from the past two seasons.

That’s just my two cents.  Maybe that can be used to help pay for an extension.