The Steelers’ minority owners periodically huff and puff, but they lack the ability to blow anyone’s house down.
As it relates to the recent contract extension given to coach Mike Tomlin, Ed Bouchette of TheAthletic.com reports that some were opposed to it.
Owner Art Rooney II nevertheless extended Tomlin through 2021, with a team option for 2022. It means that Tomlin would have a two-year buyout, if the Steelers were to decide after the season to make a change.
It’s not the first time that members of minority ownership have made their voices heard regarding Tomlin. In early 2018, PFT reported that some of the minority owners wanted Rooney to fire Tomlin after a disappointing playoff exit capping a season in which questions were raised about flaws with discipline and situational football.
The fact that the minority owners didn’t want Tomlin to get an extension obviously didn’t prevent it from happening. As Bouchette observed in response to our report regarding the push to get Tomlin fired, Rooney will not be listening to what folks with no actual power over the organization have to say, even if they technically own a piece of it.
“[I]t’s beyond ludicrous for one or a few minority owners to even think they have enough influence to persuade Rooney to can Tomlin,” Bouchette said. Thus, it’s also beyond ludicrous for one or a few minority owners to even think they have enough influence to persuade Rooney to not give Tomlin a new contract.
Still, they have an opinion — and even if the opinion of those minority owners conflicts with the will of the majority owner, it meshes with the mood of the fan base, especially when the team is perceived to be underachieving.