Typically, coaches get fired because the teams doing the firing don’t have a quality quarterback. This year, plenty of the vacancies include a quality quarterback under contract.
The question for the coaches who get the jobs will be whether they want those quarterbacks.
Think back to 2009, when Josh McDaniels first left the Patriots to become coach of the Broncos. His first order of business was to run quarterback Jay Cutler out of town.
This year, the three highest-paid quarterbacks currently don’t have coaches: Matthew Stafford of the Lions ($27 million per year), Derek Carr of the Raiders ($25 million), and Andrew Luck of the Colts ($24.5 million).
The other current vacancies will give the new coach two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning in New York, capable veteran Carson Palmer in Arizona, or No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky in Chicago.
Palmer’s potential retirement gives the Cardinals job the most empty cupboard at the position, and signing on to work with Eli Manning could cause a new coach to quickly come off as a villain, if there’s an effort to move on from him. Likewise, the coach who gets the Chicago job may not be all in with Trubisky, an opinion that likely will be held close to the vest until after a four- or five-year guaranteed contract is signed.
Regardless, this year’s coaching jobs generally will give the guys who get them something that few coaching jobs ever entail — certainty at the position important position on the field.