Jay Gruden is officially out as the Washington Redskins head coach, carrying with him a 35-50-1 record.

Dan Snyder bought the Redskins on May 25, 1999 and fired Norv Turner 13 games into the 2000 season, despite Turner leading Washington to an NFC East title in 1999 and a 7-6 record upon his firing in 2000. Since then, Washington’s head coaches under Snyder’s ownership have looked like this:

  • Marty Schottenheimer, 2001: 8-8
  • Steve Spurrier, 2002-03: 12-20
  • Joe Gibbs, 2004-07: 30-34
  • Jim Zorn, 2008-09: 12-20
  • Mike Shanahan, 2010-13: 24-40
  • Jay Gruden, 2014-19: 35-50-1

The obvious cause of these issues sits in the owner’s box every Sunday. We have 20 years of evidence that Snyder has no idea how to run a successful NFL franchise and the Redskins’ only path to success is for Snyder to sell the team, but sinceĀ that‘s not happening, the next-best solution is to get the next hire right.

Washington sits at 0-5 today and interest in this once-proud franchise seems to be at an all-time low. This doesn’t seem to be a hire where you take a chance on the next up-and-coming coordinator. No, this needs to be a splash hire, someone with a proven track record of success.

And early indications on Monday said that Snyder’s first target is Mike Tomlin.

Tomlin is under contract in Pittsburgh through 2021, meaning NFL rules stipulate Washington would have to ask Pittsburgh for permission to speak with Tomlin — and, obviously, Tomlin would have to agree to leave the Steelers in order for Snyder to hire him.

But, with the full disclaimer this could very well be Tomlin’s camp working the grapevine to get him a new deal in Pittsburgh, the intriguing thing about the prospect of Tomlin-to-Washington is that it does seem plausible.

Tomlin is in Year 13 in Pittsburgh and, sitting at 1-4 today, seems to be headed for his first losing season. Yes, the Steelers did go 13-3 just two seasons ago, but two playoff-less seasons in a row is cause for alarm in Pittsburgh.

Tomlin is only 47 years old, far from his coaching twilight. It’s entirely believable for him to feel stale in Pittsburgh and energized at the thought of a new challenge. I predicted he’d take the USC job back in August, but nothing says “new challenge” like turning around the most downtrodden of all downtrodden NFL franchises.

Stay tuned to this one.