Mike Tomlin will definitely be the Steelers coach through 2021.
Ben Roethlisberger is signed to be the Steelers quarterback through 2021.
Here’s betting both of their Pittsburgh tenures end then, after the 2021 season.
Roethlisberger’s end is easy to figure. He will be 39 at the conclusion of the 2021 season, and you can’t play football forever (unless you’re Tom Brady).
Tomlin will be 49 then. That’s not old for a coach.
But Tomlin will have been 15 years at the same job, the same as Bill Cowher when he retired. By NFL standards, that’s a marathon coaching reign.
Tomlin might be tired of coaching. He might be tired of Pittsburgh. Like Cowher, he might be ready for TV. Or Tomlin might be ready for a new team.
Most important, Tomlin might not be ready to break in a new quarterback.
Think about it: You’ve coached the Steelers 15 years. You’ve been a contender just about every season because you’ve had a Hall of Fame quarterback. Now you’ve got to forge ahead with Mason Rudolph or Josh Dobbs or whoever. You’ve got to start over.
The parallel of their contracts might turn out to be coincidence. But probably not. When Roethlisberger quits, Tomlin quits. The Steelers organization might see that as a good time for an extensive reboot, anyway.
Tomlin hasn’t had a starting quarterback besides Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger made a lot of receivers. He made Tomlin, too.
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