The NFL head coaching carousel is getting started a little earlier this year, as the league passed a one-year trial (per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero) on allowing teams with head coaching vacancies the opportunity to interview candidates in-season beginning Tuesday at 8 a.m. (12 days before the NFL regular season ends). 

Under the prior rules, teams that had head coaching vacancies couldn’t interview candidates until after the season concluded. With the NFL regular season ending on Jan. 9 thanks to the 17-game season, teams now have extra time to interview head coaches and have their new hires assemble their staff. 

Here’s the catch: Only teams that currently have a head coach opening or told their head coach that they won’t be back can interview free agent coaches or request permission to interview assistants for other jobs. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders are the only teams that currently can actively search for head coaches since their head coaches (Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden) were fired midseason.

Will there be other teams joining the Jaguars and Raiders prior to Tuesday at 8 a.m. or in the coming days? Let’s take a look at four teams that may have head coaching vacancies sooner rather than later: 

Matt Nagy’s hot seat has never been warmer with the Bears eliminated from the playoffs amidst all the dysfunction that has gone on in the organization this year. The Bears are coming off a playoff appearance in 2020, yet dropped to five wins in 2021 with Justin Fields struggling throughout his rookie campaign. 

Nagy may have coached his last game in Chicago as the Bears could look to get a head start on their next head coach, especially since Chicago doesn’t have a first-round pick as a result of the Fields deal on draft day. With Fields heading into his second season and the talent on both sides of the ball, Chicago might be one of the more attractive jobs available…

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