If the Bengals and Dolphins followed the NFL’s rules regarding the hiring of head coaches, they most likely wouldn’t have hired head coaches on Monday. Because they wouldn’t have had time to negotiate contracts and finalize arrangements.
“No contract shall be executed, and no agreement to execute a contract . . . shall be permitted until after the conclusion of the employer club’s playing season,” the league’s anti-tampering policy states. This means that there can be no offer nor acceptance of terms before an assistant coach’s season has ended. Which means that, for guys like Zac Taylor and Brian Flores, a whole lot of things would have had to happen after Sunday night to put the wheels in motion for what happened Monday.
The reality is that teams routinely ignore the rules, winking and nodding and otherwise doing a deal without officially doing a deal, allowing for the coach or the team (in theory or, as happened a year ago, in practice) to pull the plug before pen is put to paper.
The NFL decided not to change the rule in the aftermath of last year’s Josh McDaniels debacle. The fact that two more teams wandered to the wrong side of it this year make an official change to the rule even more necessary.
There’s no good reason to keep the current procedure in place, if teams aren’t going to follow it — and if the league isn’t going to do anything about it.