NFL needs to officially let unofficial coaching hires become official

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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.

16 responses to “NFL needs to officially let unofficial coaching hires become official

  1. I love this idea. Let’s get rid of all rules that are ignored by many or most people. Adios, speed limits!

  2. Sooo, what are you aiming at Mr. Florio? Is your angle really that the rule should be abolished or is the angle of your dangle that the Dolphins and Bengals should be penalized for breaking the rules? He asked in a tongue in cheek tone.

  3. Allowing coaches still involved with the playoffs to sign with other teams creates a conflict of interest that will make any bad decision into something that will require intense scrutiny to see if there is willful wrongdoing. A better idea would be to completely freeze the hiring of any coaches between the end of the regular season and the end of the Super Bowl. That way, all teams are on an equal playing field for hiring not only their head coaches, but their supporting staff as well. It also gives assistant coaches still involved in the playoffs a chance to become head coaches. Right now, many of them are passed over because teams don’t want to end up missing out on the best coordinators and position coaches. Otherwise, they have to have a wink-and-a-handshake deal in place that could blow up spectacularly if the coach backs out of the deal, like McDaniels did to the Colts after they went ahead and hired all the assistant coaches he wanted.

  4. There is enough time during the off-season to move some things around to accommodate a no go on coaching hires/interviews until after the SB.

  5. abcisezas123 says:

    February 5, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    You do that by prohibiting any coach searches until after the SB.
    sammyias says:

    February 5, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Make it fair, during the playoff no coaches can be hired, or even interviewed until the season ends. Done.
    That doesn’t make it fair and it’s a horrible idea. Making teams wait til after their super bowl means their further behind on their off-season plans of analyzing their roster, free agency and draft decisions. Teams changing coaches are already likely doing it because they had a losing season and now your putting them in an even bigger hole since they wouldn’t get their coach til February or March.

  6. OldTime Football says:

    February 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    No, they don’t! Major conflict of interests!
    College coaches take new jobs and continue to coach into bowl season all the time. To think that a coach would throw a playoff game or a super bowl because they got a new job is ridiculous. It’s also not like they would be facing their new team.

  7. The rule is just fine as it is.

    The Flores situation was perfect. It was clear based on all the reporting that he was going to Miami, but it wasn’t official. He remained 100% focused on the Patriots. He got the job done and then he was announced the next day. If he officially took the job before it would have been a massive distraction.

    The rule works well.

  8. We have way two many rules as it is. The teams who don’t make the playoffs need all the help they can get, let them hired who they want. Bill

  9. Absolutely not. They need to go back to not allowing coaches to interview until after their team has been eliminated. It blows that a coach who should be focused on a playoff game or the SB might be more concerned with his new gig.

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