Art Rooney II on Mike Tomlin Contract: 'Cross That Bridge When We Come to It'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 09:  Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on while his team warms up prior to the start of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 9, 2018 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is currently under contract through the 2020 season, so the organization has the ability to prioritize other areas of concern this offseason.

"Those are things we'll get to sort of later in the offseason," Steelers president Art Rooney II said of a Tomlin extension on Wednesday, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette. "So we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

Tomlin signed an extension through the 2020 campaign back in August 2017. At the time of that deal, he made it clear that he was "proud" to call Pittsburgh home and that he was focused on bringing a seventh Super Bowl championship to the Steel City:

While he has been unable to add another Lombardi Trophy to the trophy case over the past two seasons, he has continued to pile up the wins.

Tomlin is 125-66-1 in the regular season during his 12-year run in black and gold, going 8-7 with a Super Bowl victory in eight postseason appearances. The Steelers have never finished below .500 during his tenure.

However, Pittsburgh missed the postseason in 2018 as the result of a 9-6-1 season that saw the team lose four of its final six games following a 7-2-1 start. It marked the first time since 2013 that Tomlin's squad did not earn a spot in the playoff field.

Per Bouchette, Rooney said on Wednesday the Steelers' failure to make the playoffs was "tough to swallow."

"When you miss the playoffs, nobody gets absolved," Rooney said, per Bouchette. "I think everybody knows we need to do better, including Mike."

Of course, Tomlin faced plenty of adversity in 2018. Three-time Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell opted to sit out the season rather than play under the franchise tag for the second consecutive season. Meanwhile, his replacement, James Conner, had a Pro Bowl season only to miss three December games due to injury.

To cap it all off, Pro Bowl wideout Antonio Brown was involved in a Week 17 fiasco that caused him to be inactive for a must-win game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Rooney told the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette's Gerry Dulac last week that it's "hard to envision" Brown being on the roster come training camp, but he noted on Wednesday, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, that the team is "not closing any doors" in regard to the receiver.

While Tomlin's future with the team will likely be addressed at some point, there is clearly a lot more pressing items on Rooney's plate at the moment.

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