With the hire of Jerod Mayo to the New England Patriots, there are still seven open NFL coaching positions.
Having seven open NFL coaching positions is a lot for this time of year, and there is a good chance that as the position gets filled, another may open. At this point, predicting which NFL coaching positions will be filled by which candidates is anyone’s guess.
It’s a new era in New England: the Patriots have hired Jerod Mayo as their next head coach and he will be formally introduced at a press conference next week, a source tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/SeHKoAonrP
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2024
What is a little more predictable is figuring out which positions are more attractive to a potential coach, and which positions may be a bit tougher to fill. This article will go into which teams have the most attractive NFL coaching positions based on opportunity, pressure, current talent, and intangibles.
7. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are in a really tough spot. Their owner, David Tepper, hasn’t had success in hiring the last two coaches, and for this round, it may be difficult to find a great candidate.
The Panthers are facing a couple of huge problems. The first is that they don’t have a great draft pick for this year’s draft despite having the worst record in the NFL. They traded this year’s pick to the Bears last year to help them secure Bryce Young. Young could still end up being a great quarterback, but the early signs show he may not be a franchise QB.
The one thing going for the Panthers is that they play in the NFC South, the weakest division in the NFL.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers look on paper like one of the more attractive NFL Coaching positions, but when peeling back the layers, there are a few reasons this position may not be very attractive.
The Chargers fired their general manager as well and are going to need some significant help to get things going smoothly at the front office again. Additionally, the Chargers have a very old and experienced roster that is filled with very capable players, but players who are aging past their prime. With time also comes cost. In other words, there isn’t a ton of money to throw at new talent, unless the team decides to make significant cuts.
Finally, as good as Justin Herbert is, he also gives a sense of false security. Any coach that comes in to the position is going to have a shorter leash because of a talented QB like Herbert. Even though Herbert can’t make a line block, a defense get stops, or running backs be effective, the focus will be on Herbert. Where another coach may have two to three full seasons for a turnaround, whoever gets this position may not get two full seasons if wins don’t start accumulating.
5. Tennessee Titans
The biggest issue with this NFL Coaching positions is that the team doesn’t have a ton for it going right now. The division is getting tougher, with the Colts and Texans showing a lot of positive momentum and the Jaguars now settling as a consistent, solid team.
The team has no solid quarterback. Will Levis could turn things around, but the Titans will likely have to spend a lot of money and resources to get a solid playcaller. The issue may be that not a lot of QBs may be eager to play for the Titans, who ranked 29th in the passing offense last season.
Still, given the situation and understanding that this is an improved division, a coach may be given a grace period to get to a winning tradition.
4. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are perhaps the most difficult team to rank. Their fanbase is passionate but also still adjusting to being in Las Vegas. The team has struggled for years to find their quarterback, so finding a good signal caller will be a top priority, regardless of who is ultimately fired. Unlike the Chargers, this can be an advantage to a new coach. Team owners and fans may have more patience if it requires a few seasons to get the QB they want.
The Raiders have a strong core of receivers but need help on the defense, where they ranked in the bottom half of just about every common defensive category, including pass, rush, and scoring defense.
Still, the Raiders ended the season with a 5-4 record, suggesting that this team really isn’t that far away from above average. Don’t be shocked if interim coach Antonio Pierce gets the official promotion to HC, particularly if Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh don’t seem interested.
3. Washington Commanders
The Commanders have brand new management which means they likely will have a lot of patience for whoever they hire, since it will be 100% their hire.
The team has a lot of money, and they also are almost certainly going to take a quarterback with the second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. With a rookie contract for a QB, lots of capital, and the new management, this feels like a total and complete rebuild.
As far as NFL coaching positions go, this is a pretty good opportunity for the right candidate. It may not be great for someone like Belichick, whose looking for immediate success, but for any coach who is looking for an opportunity to rebuild and become great, this is the perfect job.
Bill Belichick to the Falcons? @MichaelIrvin88 would love to see it:
“Atlanta has some great young talent on offense. I would tell Bill to take my defense and make it special.” pic.twitter.com/hWOn13IFjo
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 12, 2024
2. Atlanta Falcons
Owner Arthur Blank wants to win today. He doesn’t want to wait around for a process or to accept a building season in 2024. His entire goal is to make it to the Playoffs and win at least a game or two next season.
Up to this point, it sounds like one of the worst NFL coaching positions available, right? For most teams firing a coach, it would be, but for the Falcons, they are already in rebuild mode and have been for a few seasons now. The team is loaded with a top-ten-ranked defense, a solid offensive line, and decent receivers and running backs. The only position holding this team back is the quarterback.
The Falcons don’t need to fill their NFL coaching position with a future Hall of Famer, they just need someone else who is late in their career and wants to win, such as Kirk Cousins.
This certainly would be a gamble for any new Head Coach, as they may not make it to next year if they fail to make the Playoffs, but with so many weapons and not having to rebuild, many coaches, such as Bill Belichick, may find this the perfect fit.
Pete Carroll has another star on the defensive side of the ball with Frank Clark reportedly joining the team. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
1. Seattle Seahawks
The front office of the Seattle Seahawks is often considered one of the best in the NFL. The fact that they wanted Pete Carroll to stay involved in operations shows that. Similar to the Falcons, the Seahawks are already set up to be successful. They’ve got a great secondary, strong lines, and good-skill position players.
They also need a better quarterback. Geno Smith was a fun and interesting storyline to follow, but he has been given more than enough of an opportunity, and it has been proven that he simply isn’t at a level to lead a team to the highest level, but he will likely remain a solid backup.
The NFC West is going to be a huge challenge, but unlike the Falcons, the Seahawks don’t need to win immediately. In other words, they have the skill and potential of the Falcons with the front office and patience of the Titans.
The only downside is trying to avoid the shadow of Pete Carroll. But when considering the other NFL Coaching Positions, this is still clearly the one that will the most interest.
Conclusion of NFL Coaching Positions
None of these teams are going to actually struggle to find a new coach. There are only 32 NFL Head Coaching jobs in the entire world, and regardless of the challenge, there will be a line of candidates begging to even interview.
That being said, Seattle is much more attractive than Carolina, meaning Seattle will have a much easier time getting exactly who they want as opposed to the Panthers who may end up having to settle for their third or fourth preference. Coaching in the NFL is tough, if it wasn’t 25% of the coaches wouldn’t have been fired this year.