Several years ago, the shopping nightmare known as Black Friday trickled into Thursday. The same thing has happened with the NFL’s Black Monday; for the most part, the coaching vacancies are known by Sunday night.
This year, two happened during the season (Browns and Packers). The consensus seems to be that four more coaching job will come open as soon as Sunday night: The Jets, Broncos, Buccaneers, and Cardinals.
So with Todd Bowles, Vance Joseph, Dirk Koetter, and Steve Wilks expected to get their walking papers, who will join them?
Maybe no more. Maybe several more. For other teams that may be considering making a coaching change, the biggest question continues to be whether a significant upgrade is available. If not, coaches otherwise in trouble will get another year.
Possible hot spots continue to be Baltimore (if John Harbaugh wants out and if another team makes the Ravens an offer they can’t refuse), Miami (Stephen Ross would possibly make a change only if he thinks he can get John Harbaugh), Cincinnati (if Marvin Lewis doesn’t walk away, Mike Brown likely wouldn’t fire him, since Lewis would be paid to not work in 2019), Jacksonville (Doug Marrone has presided over the disintegration of a Super Bowl contender), Washington (who knows what Daniel Snyder is ever going to do?), Detroit (G.M. Bob Quinn won’t fire Matt Patricia, but what if Martha Firestone Ford decides to fire both of them?), Atlanta (Dan Quinn is believed to be safe), and Carolina (Ron Rivera should be safe, but new owner David Tepper is an unknown quantity at this point).
Then there’s the firing/resignation/retirement that would count as a surprise, one of which seems to happen every year. This year, the surprise would come from, if anywhere, the teams that aren’t currently regarded as potential places for change: New England, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Houston, Oakland, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, Philadelphia, Dallas, N.Y. Giants, Minnesota, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, and the L.A. Rams.
And here’s the thing to remember, especially with the Browns and Baker Mayfield looking for a new coach. One or more coaches who are gainfully employed and not in danger of being fired may want to move to Cleveland or to Green Bay or to one of the other jobs that will be open. While the specific outcome would be a surprise, the general concept shouldn’t be; both of those jobs should be viewed as very attractive, with Cleveland perhaps being the most attractive vacancy in years.