Could the Redskins actually get Mike Tomlin?

Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins

Owner Daniel Snyder is fairly certain to aim high in the search, but what are the chances Mike Tomlin will be the next head coach of the Washington Redskins?

Early Monday morning, the Washington Redskins pulled the band-aid off and made the inevitable move to fire head coach Jay Gruden. Owner Daniel Snyder would surely love to bring in a big name in as the next head coach, and ESPN’s Ed Werder as well as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports have reported Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is a prominent target.

Werder added Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to the list of candidates, while Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported current Redskins’ offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is a candidate as well.

But let’s focus on Tomlin. Could the Redskins actually get him?

Tomlin is in his 13th season as Steelers’ head coach. Via a one-year contract extension, he’s under contract through the 2021 season. He’s in no real danger of being fired by an organization that has had three head coaches since 1969. But Pittsburgh missed the playoffs last year and they’re 1-4 so far this year. Now, they’re already headed toward their third starting quarterback of 2019 with Ben Roethlisberger out for the season and Mason Rudolph suffering a concussion on Sunday.

Head coach trades are rare, but they do happen (see Jon Gruden from the Raiders to the Buccaneers). The Redskins would have to make a deal for Tomlin if he’s not freely available, and Tomlin may be open to leaving if things really go off the rails this season. The Steelers would, of course, have to be a willing trade partner, and that’s a different conversation.

Naturally, there are betting odds out on who will be the next Redskins’ head coach. Sports has Bienemy at 7/2 (+350) with Byron Leftwich, Mike Pettine, and Bowles each coming it at 6/1 (+600), and there’s Tomlin at 14/1 (+1400).

So Tomlin is not the longest of long shots, but he is one of the biggest names on any sort of list to be the next head coach in Washington.

Willingly leaving one of the most stable, well-run organizations in the NFL for perhaps the most dysfunctional would be a questionable career move. But until shown otherwise, the Redskins can cling to the idea it’s somehow possible to woo Tomlin and get a deal done to get him.

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