The NFL’s version of “Black Monday” dawned early this year, three teams dismissing their head coaches – two of them also axed general managers – the morning after the 2021 regular season concluded. The New York Giants announced Monday afternoon that embattled GM Dave Gettleman opted for retirement … then turned around and fired coach Joe Judge on Tuesday evening.
That brings the number of coaching openings league-wide to seven*, and recent history suggests there could be more – even if further changes take a few more weeks to materialize.
In the meantime, let’s assess how attractive each of the vacant posts are – and this is a dynamic list that could grow, shrink or simply change as circumstances develop:
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Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field on November 28, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Quarterback situation: Trevor Lawrence was almost universally regarded as a generational prospect before being selected first overall in the 2021 draft. However in a rookie season that was largely wasted, he wound up being collateral damage during Urban Meyer’s brief but disastrous tenure – before providing a reminder in Sunday’s upset of the Indianapolis Colts of what might lie ahead. Lawrence is under contractual control for at least four more years, and he’d be a very enticing consideration for Meyer’s replacement – especially if the next coach is offensively focused and/or experienced with directly developing young passers.
Roster: There are certainly holes on a team that scored the fewest points in the league this season, and – given the investment in Lawrence – the offensive line would be a good place to start. An Achilles tear already threatens RB James Robinson’s 2022 season, but 2021…