Last Monday, the Washington Redskins and owner Dan Snyder fired head coach Jay Gruden after his team started 0-5. This left the DC franchise without a top man and put pressure on Snyder to find a capable replacement. A decision isn't expected until after the 2019 season ends, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has reported that the top option is the current head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and that a trade is possible.
In a piece released Sunday morning, La Canfora wrote that Snyder views Mike Tomlin as the best candidate to step in and lead this team back to the postseason while coaching up first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins. However, there exists a problem in that Tomlin is under contract with the team through the 2021 season after signing a one-year extension in July.
To achieve this acquisition, the only option for Snyder would be to part ways with draft picks, which La Canfora reports that he would be willing to do.
"Tomlin has an excellent coaching record, is a member of the prestigious Competition Committee, is one of the game's great orators and already has relationships with key members of the organization like team president Bruce Allen and general manager Doug Williams from their time in Tampa. Snyder believes Tomlin could help restore faith in the fans and kick-start the team's sagging business operations as well," La Canfora writes.
Considering that Tomlin has taken the Steelers to two Super Bowls, winning one, during his tenure as head coach, it's understandable that Snyder would want him to take over in Washington. This is a franchise that has only won two playoff games since 1999, with the last taking place in 2005. Finding success in the postseason is critical to keeping fans interested in the team, and Snyder reportedly believes that Tomlin would be the best man to achieve this goal.
As La Canfora wrote, the Virginia native in Tomlin has ties to the local area. The Steelers hold training camp in Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, Tomlin's son also attends the University of Maryland.
Trading for an NFL coach is not quite as rare as you'd think considering that it has happened multiple times in league history. Back in 1999, Super Bowl-winning head coach Mike Holmgren headed to the Seattle Seahawks after a prestigious stint at Lambeau Field. The Green Bay Packers received a second-round pick in return.
Similarly, current Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was traded by the Bay Area team back in 2002. The man called Chucky had compiled a winning record (40-28) during his four seasons with Oakland and had led the team to the postseason twice to finish his stint with the team.
However, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by Raiders owners Al Davis. In exchange, the Bucs sent a first-round pick in 2002, another in 2003, and a second-round pick in 2004. They also sent over $8 million in cash.
In his first season with the Buccaneers, Gruden led the Florida franchise to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. Ironically enough, his team defeated the Oakland Raiders.
Expecting a Gruden level of success from Tomlin is out of the question, but La Canfora believes that Snyder and the Redskins will accept any number of wins from the Steelers coach. Of course, getting him in the building will be the first step in the process.