Carson Palmer blurts out Mike Tomlin as a candidate for USC job, “if he wants out”

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Well, Mike Tomlin has something to talk about at his weekly Tuesday press conference.

USC is looking for a new coach. Former USC quarterback Carson Palmer is involved in the search. Here’s how Palmer explained his level of involvement to Dan Patrick on Monday.

“I’ve been talking to a bunch of folks and been giving input here and there,” Palmer said. “I’ve been as involved as they’ll let me be.”

Dan asked Palmer if James Franklin of Penn State is the “frontrunner.” Palmer said that “there are a lot of frontrunners.” Dan then pointed out, accurately, that there can’t be a lot of frontrunners.

Palmer then started listing potential frontrunners by identifying names of colleges, not names of coaches. Then he threw out this: “You’ve got a wild card like Mike Tomlin. If Mike Tomlin wants out.”

Has Tomlin been discussed by the USC powers that be?

“I’m sure he has,” Palmer said. “I think anybody is a potential candidate right now. And that’s what’s so great about the job. Is it can lure an NFL guy that’s tired of their current situation and worried about is Ben Roethlisberger gone? Is he done? Who are we gonna draft? Is Mike Tomlin gonna have to start over with a young rookie quarterback?”

Dan was intrigued by Tomlin’s name being mentioned in connection with USC.

“Is that the first you’ve heard of that?” Palmer said.

Dan said yes. Palmer said, “Uh-oh. . . . Oops.”

If Tomlin is asked about it tomorrow, he’ll surely say something along the lines of I’m only concerned about figuring out how to beat the Browns or something like that. Unless and until he says, I’m not going to be the USC coach, I won’t be seriously thinking that Tomlin could leave the only team he has coached since 2007.