However, if Tomlin’s own words are any indication, he’s not going anywhere. Asked today about the possibility of pursuing the USC vacancy, Tomlin issued as strong of a denial as you’ll see from a coach.
“I don’t have time for that speculation. That’s a joke to me,” Tomlin told reporters. “I have one of the best jobs in all of professional sports. I have no interest.”
For the mic drop moment, Tomlin said there isn’t “a booster with a big enough check” to lure him out to Los Angeles.
The anger doesn’t really come through in the transcript. Not sure why he’d be so offended about it but it’s a pretty good window into the psychology of how NFL coaches view college football https://t.co/Ueh5yIAqC7
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 26, 2021
Tomlin: "I don't have time for that speculation. That's a joke to me. I have one of the best jobs in all of professional sports. I have no interest. . . Never . . . There's not a booster with a big enough check." Tomlin strongly ending speculation about LSU and USC jobs
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 26, 2021
Tomlin on USC rumors "I don't have time for that speculation. That's a joke to me. I've of one of the best job in all of professional sport. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football? Never say never.But never. There's not a booster with a big enough blank check"
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) October 26, 2021
Tomlin’s name exploded in regards to USC on Monday when former Trojans quarterback Carson Palmer told Dan Patrick that the Super Bowl champion coach was a “wild card” for the job.
“I’ve been as involved as they’ll let me be… there’s a lot of frontrunners right now,” Palmer said. “You’ve got a wildcard like Mike Tomlin. If Mike Tomlin wants out… at the end of the day there’s not a ‘that’s the guy everybody’s pointing their fingers at.’”
Palmer didn’t definitively say that Tomlin was a candidate though, and quite honestly, it was hard to envision him being one even before he spoke today. Tomlin has been the head coach of the Steelers, one of the most prestigious positions in all of American pro sports, let alone the NFL, since 2007.
He’s currently signed to a contract that runs through the 2024 season, so he has ample job security. It would make no sense for him to give all of that up to take on the challenge of running the USC program.