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Steelers Strike Deal With Mike… Tomlin

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Gotcha! C’mon, I know some of you thought I was gonna say Mike Wallace. Well, you may just get your wish if erstwhile tight end Weslye Saunders is to be believed. Yesterday afternoon, he sent out a tweet congratulating Wallace on his new contract. Several of our crack local reporters evidently picked up his tweet and began spreading the word that Wallace had signed a new deal when in reality he had not. Saunders quickly took down the erroneous message and issued a mea culpa.

What I suspect happened, and keep in mind we’re not only talking about a football player but a football player who’s been suspended by the NFL for allegedly taking a drug they prescribe for people with severe ADD, is Saunders heard that “Mike” had signed a new deal and assumed that meant Wallace received his coveted contract extension. And we all know what they say about people who ASSuME things.

In reality, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was the beneficiary (check out the url of that link, top notch reporting P-G!) of the team’s generosity. Tomlin reupped with the Black and Gold for three more years, placing him under contract through the 2016 season. Tomlin had two years remaining on his current deal and the Steelers traditionally extend their head coach with a couple years remaining as to avoid having a coach working through a lame duck season. Not that there was any danger of Tomlin going anywhere, what with the Rooney Family’s well- documented love of stability at the head coaching position.

Tomlin’s new contract comes at an interesting time in Steelers history. I’ve written about the Mike Tomlin Era at length and, regardless of whether you agree with my assertion that he’s essentially won with Bill Cowher‘s players, the fact remains he inherited a Super Bowl contender when he took the reins in 2007. It’s not like he stepped into a huge mess that required a massive rebuilding effort. Well, the Steelers will be rebuilding over the next three or four years as more and more of the players that made them one of the teams of the 00s fade into retirement. The process has already begun with the release of James Farrior and Hines Ward and will continue as guys like Casey Hampton, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu get up there in years. Bill Cowher enjoyed continuous success throughout his 15 year tenure here in Pittsburgh utilizing many different players and assembling several vastly different rosters. We’re about to find out if Tomlin can do the same thing.