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NFL insider hearing chatter of Pittsburgh Steelers potentially trading Mike Tomlin: 4 ideal landing spots

Earlier this season, Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers made history for all the wrong reasons by becoming the first team with a winning record to suffer back-to-back losses to teams at least eight games below .500. The Steelers, who were seemingly on track to return to the postseason a few weeks ago, are now 7-7, in grave danger of finishing with the first losing record in Tomlin’s NFL head coaching career.

Pittsburgh’s recent track record now has some, like Dianna Russini, hearing chatter that the Steelers may consider trading Tomlin this offseason. Others, like Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, previously asked whether Tomlin and the Steelers could be set for a breakup this offseason. If so, the options would be either firing Tomlin, who has just one year left on his contract, trading him, or a mutual parting.

Tomlin’s Steelers may not be one of the NFL’s best right now, but the former Super Bowl-winning head coach would surely draw massive interest if he were to become available. But which teams would entice the Steelers coach? Here’s a list of four teams who could chase after Tomlin.

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Carolina Panthers

carolina panthers
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This one’s easy. We already know the Carolina Panthers will not only be looking for their third head coach in four seasons, we’ve also seen how team owner David Tepper isn’t afraid to invest whatever it takes to get what he wants. Whether it’s by trade (Bryce Young) or by offering a blank check, if Tomlin becomes available, the Panthers make a lot of sense.

Tomlin may feel more inclined to pursue a different situation, namely one he feels is more competitive right away. But then again, who’s set to dominate the NFC South for the foreseeable future? Right now, it’s wide open. This means if Tomlin already likes the core of the Panthers’ roster, Young included, then he may see a quick opportunity to return to the playoffs while hitching himself to a potential franchise quarterback for the next decade or more.

New England Patriots

new england patriots
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If the Patriots are truly considering moving on from arguably the best coach in NFL history, they’d be taking a big risk. As other teams frequently learn, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The Patriots could very well go with an unproven option and hope he figures it out quickly.

Or, team owner Robert Kraft could grow fond of landing a proven coach like Tomlin too. Sure, it may take a trade to do so, but the Patriots may be able to gain trade capital from parting with Belichick too. Upon first glance, Tomlin may not leap at the opportunity to lead the Patriots without a QB, but with a potential franchise savior on the way via the 2024 NFL Draft, the job could become more enticing.

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Las Vegas Raiders

las vegas raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Davis hasn’t been able to find the right coach. Antonio Pierce created a spark for the Las Vegas Raiders, but if this organization is serious about competing in the AFC West any time soon, they’ll need someone with a bit more experience. Enter Coach Tomlin.

Why would Tomlin want to leave Pittsburgh for Vegas? That could be a tough sell. Right now, Tomlin’s a coaching legend with the Steelers, and the Raiders aren’t exactly positioned for immediate success without a QB while having to face Patrick Mahomes twice a year. Yet, they are in a much bigger market, and ownership could feel desperate to get things right. Yet, that doesn’t mean the job will appeal to Tomlin any more.

Washington Commanders

mike tomlin
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Rivera is still under contract with the Washington Commanders. He’s done a fine job, considering the GM’s inability to find a franchise QB. However, new ownership has taken over, and rumors have existed of a potential front office shakeup ever since. With the Commanders already eliminated from the playoffs, it wouldn’t shock anyone if a change at head coach was made.

If so, why wouldn’t the Commanders gauge Tomlin’s interest in the vacancy? He’s a Virginia native who attended college at William & Mary and also later began his coaching career with the Virginia Military Institute. It’s quite possible Tomlin would have interest in returning home to help bring Washington’s football team back to glory. Not to mention, ownership likely also won’t be afraid to pay Coach Tomlin top dollar, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL.

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