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Steelers News: When it comes to coaches’ contracts, they aren’t the same as player deals

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Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the Steelers fan base saw their interest rise when Art Rooney II said they hadn’t talk about a coaching extension for Mike Tomlin. But as was pointed out in the Tribune-Review, coaching contracts simply aren’t the same as player contracts. They don’t count towards the salary cap, and carry no dead money, or anything else like that. With that said, it makes all this coaching contract stuff sort of null-and-void.

Let’s get to the news:

Tim Benz: Steelers extending Mike Tomlin would mean nothing for his future

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If you are someone like me, you embrace the idea of a Steelers head coaching change.

And if you are someone like me, you would have preferred to see Mike Munchak get the job. But that ship has sailed.

That’s not going to happen. It was never going to happen. Tomlin would have had to go 0-16. The whole team would have had to fail to show up for practice before the Bengals finale. And then maybe — maybe — Art Rooney II would’ve considered firing his coach.

But probably not. Perhaps he would’ve at least acknowledged that his team is a “circus.”

Despite plodding through six of the last eight seasons without a playoff victory, it’s safe to assume Rooney will give Tomlin a contract extension.

That’s just what the Steelers do. Or better said, don’t do.

Rooneys don’t fire coaches. Since Chuck Noll got hired in 1969, we’ve come closer to seeing a president — or two or three — impeached and removed from office than we have seen a Steelers coach fired.

Traditionally, Steelers head coaches tend to get a contract extension two years removed from the end of their deal. Tomlin’s is up in 2020. So, by Steelers standards, he’s up now.

If Tomlin doesn’t get an extension this year, in the Rooney universe, he’s entering a make-or-break campaign. The way the Steelers tend to do things: two years out becomes the de facto lame duck year.

And Rooney won’t let Tomlin languish in that “uncertainty.” Or, better said, that Steeler-coaching interpretation of the word.

”Those things we’ll get to sort of later in the offseason,’’ Rooney said of a new deal for his coach. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Which bridge? There’s a lot of them in this town. And they are often under construction.

Much like Tomlin’s defense.

But when Tomlin does inevitably get his contract extension in the upcoming months, I’m not going to get bent out of shape about it. Because it really doesn’t matter.

It’s not like Tomlin’s salary counts against the cap. It’s just Rooney’s money. And he has plenty of that.

Heck, he just gave Ryan Shazier $8.7 million out of the kindness of his heart. And, because he’s a good person, he’s probably going to keep paying Shazier for the foreseeable future.

For as loyal as Rooney is — and he is — he’s still a businessman. Just understand, Rooney’s loyalty to Tomlin is in the dollars. Not the years.

(For more, click the link in the headline...)

Art Rooney II: Steelers tried to extend Mike Munchak before 2018

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A conversation between Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II had with Mike Munchak in December may have been a clue into his offensive line coach’s future plans.

Munchak left the Steelers last week after five seasons to accept the same job with the Denver Broncos. Munchak cited family reasons; his daughter and granddaughter live in Colorado.

Last month, Rooney said he and Munchak “lamented” working in a city different than where their grandchildren lived.

“Maybe that was a precursor of things to come because he went out and did something about it,” Rooney II said in an interview with 93.7 FM.

Munchak departed when his contract expired despite Rooney’s efforts to get him to stay in Pittsburgh. Rooney said he also tried to extend Munchak’s contract before the start of the season, so he couldn’t become a free agent.

“He preferred to do it his way,” Rooney said. “I don’t know how long he was thinking about trying to do this. Obviously, it was important to him at some point to get back to the same city as his daughter and granddaughter. … He has a right to make the decision on when he wants to pull the trigger on a contract.”

(For more, click the link in the headline...)

Steelers: No trade talks for Antonio Brown yet, haven’t spoken with WR

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

The Steelers are “not closing any doors” on Antonio Brown’s future but remain disappointed that they haven’t spoken to the All-Pro receiver since the season ended, according to team president Art Rooney II.

The team has not officially begun trade discussions involving Brown, who was benched in Week 17 for skipping a walk-through. Brown also had a flare-up with a teammate during the week. Asked whether Brown could return to the team if he shows contrition, Rooney said he’s open to options but added, “There aren’t many signs out there that that’s going to happen.”

”I’m not gonna sit here and disparage Antonio,” Rooney said during an interview with a group of local reporters Wednesday. “You have to remember he’s been one of the most productive receivers in the league for a long time now. He’s helped us win a lot of games over the last few years. Was it always done the way you’d like to see it done? No. But I don’t think he was a major distraction to the team up until the last weekend of the season. The proof is in the pudding for the most part.”

The lack of clarity and communication over what changed with Brown in Week 17 is concerning, Rooney said. Brown hasn’t publicly commented on his situation but has removed his team affiliation from his Twitter bio and is using social media to flirt with the San Francisco 49ers as a potential trade partner.

”I would have liked to have the opportunity to talk to him and understand where he is. Maybe that happens at some point,” Rooney said. “I’m very disappointed in where we are and what happened and don’t have a lot of good explanations for it as we sit here today.”

Brown took to Twitter again Wednesday, saying the Steelers “feel indifferent about me” and that he is keeping track of comments from the team, teammates and fans to “show me how they really feel!”

(For more, click the link in the headline...)