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Old 12-24-2008, 01:07 PM   #340
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Posted by Mike Florio on December 24, 2008, 3:55 p.m. EST

When Steelers coach Bill Cowher resigned with a year left on his contract, there were some rumblings from within the organization that the franchise might not voluntarily agree to permit Cowher to join another team without compensation, if/when he returns to the NFL.

But it appears that the Steelers wouldn’t get in Cowher’s way if he wants to return. On Tuesday, Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said that there’s no agreement between the team and Cowher that would prevent him from returning to the NFL and coaching the Browns.

“We got along and continue to get along, but I have never taken the position that he shouldn’t coach,” Rooney told Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

That said, Rooney doesn’t envision Cowher returning in 2009.

“I will say to you that every time I talk to him and this subject comes up — and the subject does come up almost every year at this time — he says that he’s very, very happy with what he’s doing, where he is,” Rooney said.

“It would not surprise me if he said he wasn’t going to coach. It would surprise me the other way because he tells me that every time I talk to him and the subject comes up.”

Cowher has been linked to the looming vacancy in Cleveland. Though it’s widely believed that the Browns are interested, the thinking is that Cowher isn’t.

Our theory/hypothesis/crazy-ass speculation is that Cowher is using the Browns’ interest as a way to keep his name at the top of the “A” list through the 2009 hiring cycle.
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