The Packers defended the decision to fire coach Mike McCarthy with four games left in the season by explaining that the move gives McCarthy a chance to make plans to interview for head-coaching vacancies elsewhere. And McCarthy surely will be in demand.
So where will he go? The Browns will be interested. The Jets, if they fire Todd Bowles, should be interested. Other teams with vacancies also should be interested, given the trend toward hiring offensive coaches.
From Cincinnati to Jacksonville to Dallas (if the Cowboys don’t make the playoffs) to Tampa, a coaching change should at least prompt a phone call to McCarthy. Ultimately, he could have multiple jobs from which to choose. And there’s one important factor that he surely will consider.
No one has won a Super Bowl with two different teams. McCarthy, who led the Packers to a Super Bowl XLV victory, could become the first. If he picks the right spot, and if he can take the players and mold them into a championship contender.
Cleveland could be the most attractive option, given the presence of Baker Mayfield and the absence of any actual success since the team rejoined the league in 1999. Wherever McCarthy goes, he’ll be trying to do what others before him, like Jimmy Johnson, Mike Holmgren, and Bill Parcells, have failed to accomplish.