July 14, 2024

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed head coach Mike Tomlin to a three-year contract extension on Monday afternoon. The extension will keep Tomlin with the organization through at least the 2027 campaign. His illustrious 17-year (and counting) run with the Steelers doesn’t appear to be reaching its conclusion anytime soon.

Tomlin’s extension could kickstart contract negotiations for contending coaches around the league. Several coaches are due to sign a new agreement. We’ve identified three head coaches who should follow in Tomlin’s footsteps by signing extensions with their current franchise.

JOHN HARBAUGH, BALTIMORE RAVENS

John Harbaugh has been the Baltimore Ravens‘ head coach since 2008. The franchise has been the epitome of consistency throughout his tenure, clinching 11 playoff appearances in 16 opportunities. Harbaugh remains in the prime of his coaching career.

The Ravens signed Harbaugh to an extension through 2025 before the 2022 season. In 2023, Harbaugh led the franchise to a 13-4 first-place finish in the AFC, a wonderful campaign that culminated with a defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. Harbaugh technically possesses two years remaining on his latest extension, but there’s no legitimate reason for general manager Eric DeCosta to let Harbaugh enter a contract season in 2025.

KEVIN O’CONNELL, MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Minnesota Vikings took a leap of faith by hiring the inexperienced Kevin O’Connell in 2022. O’Connell received a four-year contract and immediately repaid the Vikings’ by leading them to a 13-4 record during his first season in charge. The Vikings captured their first NFC North title since 2017.

The 2023 campaign was a write-off due to Kirk Cousins’ Achilles injury. Even after a disappointing season, O’Connell has compiled a record of 20-14, tying Dennis Green for the most victories throughout the first two seasons in Vikings coaching history.

O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah should receive extensions seeing that their current agreements are aligned to expire after 2025. After all, ownership allowed them to draft J.J. McCarthy as the team’s next franchise quarterback. A former NFL quarterback himself, O’Connell is the perfect coach to oversee McCarthy’s development over the next several seasons.

MIKE MCDANIEL, MIAMI DOLPHINS

The Miami Dolphins signed head coach Mike McDaniel to a four-year contract when they hired him in 2022. In his debut season, he led the Dolphins to a 9-8 record and their first postseason appearance since 2016. McDaniel and the Dolphins showcased improvement in 2023 by finishing 11-6 and second place in the AFC East, capturing a consecutive playoff berth.

Steelers-by-position: Quarterbacks

McDaniel was hired for his offensive prowess and he has not disappointed in that department. The Dolphins finished first in the league in yards gained per game (401.3) last season, and second in points scored per contest (29.2). Tua Tagovailoa has developed into a franchise quarterback under McDaniel’s tutelage.

McDaniel will be more than halfway through his initial four-year contract when the 2024 campaign begins. With Tagovailoa expected to sign a lucrative extension before training camp marks its arrival, the Dolphins should ensure McDaniel is under contract through at least the 2027 season. It would be in Tagovailoa’s best interest.

 

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