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Win total benchmark extends Mike Tomlin contract

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin earned himself another year of employment in Pittsburgh.

Tomlin's win total triggered a vesting option in his deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday, citing a source informed of the situation. He'll now be under contract through the 2019 season, though there have been talks about a longer pact.

"There have been some conversations between Steelers brass and Mike Tomlin and those who represent him and are putting him under contract through 2020," Rapoport explained Friday on Inside Training Camp Live. "From what I am told, those have not been finalized yet. Nothing is done, nothing has been agreed to as far as being under contract with 2020.

"But perhaps, what Ed Bouchette, the longtime Steelers beat man [of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette], tweeted about an announcement, perhaps it is simply saying that Tomlin is now under contract through 2019 because that automatically vested based on the success on the field."

Back in 2015, the coach and team agreed on a contract through the 2018 season. The vesting option buys them plenty of time to negotiate a more significant deal without Tomlin approaching a lame-duck year.

Just 45, Tomlin is still on the young side for NFL head coaches but already has a spectacular resume. Since 2007, Tomlin has gone 103-57 in the regular season alongside an 8-6 record in the postseason. Despite some borderline idiotic assertions to the contrary, Tomlin is on a path to become the next great Steelers head coach. Seeing as there have been so few over the years and the last was Bill Cowher, the bar was quite high to begin with.

As Steelers public relations noted last year, Tomlin is the fastest coach in franchise history to 100 wins. He has not had a losing season yet.

Of course, much of Tomlin's legacy moving forward will be defined by how he maximizes the remaining years of Ben Roethlisberger's career alongside the prime years of Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. Despite a rash of significant injuries, the Steelers still made it to the AFC title game last year. Returning nearly all of their key contributors, expectations may have never been higher for Tomlin.

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