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NFL Football Betting: Could Mike Tomlin be the Redskins Next Head Coach?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/09/2019

Yesterday we talked about the firing of Jay Gruden as head coach of the Washington Redskins.  It wasn’t exactly a secret that he was on the ‘hot seat’ heading into this season and in many ways it’s a surprise that he lasted this long.  Gruden is the longest serving head coach of Dan Snyder’s tenure as owner in that he lasted just over five years.  He also becomes the eighth head coach that Snyder has fired since he purchased the Redskins.

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Now that Gruden is gone and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Bill Callahan in charge on an interim basis everyone involved can plan their next move.  ESPN quoted an ‘unnamed source’ who is supposedly tight with Snyder that he’s already got a list of his three top candidates: current Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

BetOnline.ag has posted betting odds on the Washington Redskins’ next head coach listing over 50 possible candidates.  We’ve already looked at the favorite on the odds board—Eric Bieniemy at +350.  We’ll now turn our attention to another one of the names on Synder’s list of candidates:

WASHINGTON REDSKINS HEAD COACH IN WEEK 1 OF 2020 REGULAR SEASON

MIKE TOMLIN (+1400)

The word around the campfire is that Tomlin is Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder’s top choice to replace Gruden.  So why is he priced at +1400 and not at shorter odds?  There are several reasons.  First and foremost, he already has a job as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He’s signed through the 2021 season and for now he’s made clear that he’s focused on the plight of the Steelers:

"I'm not worried about that, to be quite honest with you. Guys, I'm the head coach of a 1-4 football team that's going on the road to play a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback with a third-string quarterback. Do you think I'm worried about anything this week other than that?"

There’s no doubt that he is focused on the task at hand but notice that he said nothing to disqualify himself as a candidate.  He didn’t even intimate that he wasn’t interested and that he’s committed to Pittsburgh for the next two years.  The contractual issues can be dealt with if Tomlin wants the gig.  In terms of a career move there are several considerations.  As far as the ‘prestige’ of the franchise it’s probably a lateral move.

A bigger consideration would no doubt be compensation. Tomlin would want more zeros on his paycheck and more years on his contract.  NFL teams are pretty tight lipped about what they pay their head coaches but multiple sources suggest that Tomlin makes $7 million per.  That puts him in a tie with John Harbaugh of Baltimore for the #6 annual salary among head coaches.  He’d be in a good position to point to what Jon Gruden is getting to coach the Raiders—a ten year, $10 million per deal—as a baseline.  Both Gruden and Tomlin have a Super Bowl win but Tomlin has a significantly higher regular season winning percentage (126-70-1 for .642) and a slightly better postseason percentage (8-7 .533). Overall, Tomlin’s career W/L record is 134-77-1 for .634 percent compared to Gruden’s 107-99 for .519 percent. Tomlin would also want to have more input on personnel decisions.

Assuming that Snyder is willing to compensate the Steelers to let their old coach out of his contract and willing to back up the Brinks truck to pay his new coach there’s reason to think that Tomlin might be intrigued by the opportunity.  The Steelers gave him a very tepid two year contract extension in 2019.  With the Ben Roethlisberger era coming to a close sooner rather than later he might want to take on a new challenge.  It also doesn't hurt that Tomlin’s son Dino attends the University of Maryland less than an hour away from DC in College Park.

You’ll probably see the price on Tomlin continue to drop until the Redskins hire a new coach or the Steelers extend his deal.  His price isn’t as short as some other candidates since there’s a lot of hoops that the Redskins would have to jump through to hire him but if the team’s owner really has him as his top choice you can be sure that Synder will do everything he can to make it happen.

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