Some interesting rumors were floated this weekend by two reliable NFL reporters. Both Albert Breer and Jay Glazer hinted at the possibility of the Las Vegas Raiders being interested in trading for Mike Tomlin.
First it was Glazer on Fox sports who said: “Rich Basacia has done a great job, but I think the Raiders would love to go and still perhaps get a rock star. Maybe even look to trade for somebody. A Mike Tomlin or Sean Payton. Something along those lines.” This is particularly interesting when considering that we know how close Tomlin and Glazer are.
That alone may not have been much of a story given it was a pretty vague hypothetical. But then Albert Breer doubled down on the idea for Monday Morning Quarterback with this quote. “There are business elements to the Raiders coaching search and everything else. And if they get blown out by the Bengals on Saturday, maybe they decide “to make our mark in Vegas, we’ve gotta go Big Game hunting for a Mike Tomlin”
One final clue came from Mike Lombardi on his recent podcast. He was responding to rumors about the Raiders head coaching job and was quoted as saying “Mark Davis wants to hire a big time coach so he can hand over the reigns of the team and be done with it”.
The Raiders have sputtered since moving to Las Vegas. The team went 7-9 last season with no fans in attendance for the brand spanking new Allegiant Stadium. This season they have made the playoffs, but lost their high profile coach John Gruden. This is a franchise looking to get a foothold in a new city, and a new stadium. It would be no shock at all if they “went big game hunting” for their next coach. Trading for Mike Tomlin would give them instant credibility, and ramp up interest for season ticket sales. We outlined what a trade for Tomlin might look like here: Hypothetical: What if the Jaguars make a godfather offer for Mike Tomlin?
For the Steelers perspective this would be a non-starter unless Mike Tomlin requested a move himself. Art Rooney would never entertain any trade talk without being prompted by his head coach. Would Tomlin be interested in a move? It’s a possibility considering both his quarterback, and now his general manager are likely to be gone after the season. Tomlin could also leave Pittsburgh having never had a losing season. The timing would be perfect for a legendary exit for the Steelers head coach. For now its just rumors, but if both teams bow out in the first round of the playoffs this story could become one to watch.