Six head coaching roles will be open for 2021. Here’s our rankings for the best jobs out there.
As the NFL season comes to a close, 14 teams know their head coach did enough to earn them a postseason spot. For the other teams, there are questions moving forward.
Black Monday came and went and now, six franchises will be looking for their next leader to correct the issues and become a contender. For the fifth straight year, at least five coaching positions have been available in the offseason, some coming by the same team multiple times
As the offseason has begun for many, teams are wasting little time finding their next head coach. Almost all have requested names while several have already conducted the early stages of interviews. Now, it’s all about finding the right fit.
Several teams will have the advantage to entice a bigger name while others will have to hope the history of the club does most of the talking. But what club has the best value?
Ranking all six head coaching positions for the 2021 NFL offseason6. Detroit Lions
The Lions will finish with their third top-10 selection since 2019 after another awful season. Matt Patricia was expected to fix the defense and only build up an offense with so much potential. He crashed both into the wall and nearly ruined Matthew Stafford’s career.
Whoever takes over will have to decide which contracts are worth keeping and which should be cut. The team also will lose both Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay to free agency, leaving Stafford with a limited arsenal. But with a top-10 pick, could the regime start fresh with a new signal-caller?
The cap space isn’t terrible for Detroit and several high draft selections should be blocks for the future. This rebuild isn’t an overnight fix, meaning fans will be in for another long season or two. Whoever takes over will be in for sleepless nights and backlash over the next few years.
5. Atlanta Falcons
Arthur Blank is generally well-respected around the NFL by other owners. He also truly loves his football team down in Atlanta and is willing to reward players with lucrative deals.
Unlike Detroit, Blank will want a quick rebuild with the pieces already in place. Both sides of the ball have playmakers and the offense has shown the capability to be one of the top-scoring units in football. But, how long will that last with Matt Ryan coming off a down year and at 36?
Arthur Blank was asked about the future of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in Atlanta.
His response 👇 pic.twitter.com/I2Co5CgEKd
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) January 4, 2021
A top-five pick would be worthy of selecting a quarterback, but the team has needs elsewhere on both sides. Plus, should they find the next future signal-caller, who will take over Ryan’s contract, to which he’s owed $40 million next season. And if Drew Brees retires, shouldn’t the division be wide open?
Atlanta seems like a place ready to win now, but they’re not. The division could be wide open, meaning the next coach’s leash might be even tighter.
4. Houston Texans
Houston won three division titles with Bill O’Brien as the head coach. As the GM, O’Brien traded away all their best assets and nearly ran the franchise into the ground.
The keyword is nearly because Deshaun Watson alone makes the rebuild at NRG Stadium bearable. Even without his No.1 target in DeAndre Hopkins, Watson dominated teams in the passing game. Not only did he set a new franchise record in passing, but also led the NFL in passing and finished second in average yards per game.
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2021
Houston’s bad contracts to veteran players will cost them a season. The good news is both Laremy Tunsil and Watson will be under contract through 2023. But the real problem comes down to draft capital and cap space. Neither are good entering the offseason and Watson’s final year on his rookie contract could be wasted.
It’s not a bad job, but there are better options out there.