It’s very likely Doug Pederson ends the day as the only remaining head coach in the NFC East as NFL teams moved quickly to shed unwanted coaches in the fast-moving carousel that has become known as “Black Monday.”
On Monday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report the New York Giants have fired head coach Pat Shurmur after two seasons. Shurmur, a former offensive coordinator for the Eagles who acted as the team’s interim head coach after Chip Kelly’s dismissal, seemed resigned to his fate Sunday night.
“This is a ‘wins’ business — I get it, I get it,” Shurmur told reporters following the Giants’ loss to the Eagles at MetLife Stadium.
The Cleveland Browns didn’t even wait until Monday. The team fired head coach Freddie Kitchens on Sunday night after their season-ending loss to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was first to report the news, writing on Twitter that his source was an “emotional” Kitchens himself, who thought he had the support of the organization.
Two teams said goodbye to their head coaches before the end of the season. The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera earlier this month, and the Washington Redskins dumped head coach Jay Gruden back in October, after the team’s 0-5 start.
All eyes today will be on Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who was not given a contract extension heading into the season. During his weekly interview on Dallas sports talk radio, Garrett said he’ll meet with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and president Stephen Jones after the team’s noon meeting. That team meeting happened at 1 p.m., according to multiple reports.
“We’ll have a good visit and see what’s next,” Garrett said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Monday morning.
If Garrett doesn’t return, it would mean Pederson is the only NFC East coach to still have a job. He’s also the only remaining head coach from the class of 2016, when six new coaches were hired. At the time, ESPN’s Ian O’Connor ranked Pederson as the league’s worst coaching hire, calling it “a reach."
“This business is tough. It’s a ‘What have you done for me lately’ business,” Pederson told 94.1 WIP host Angelo Cataldi on Monday. “It’s unfortunate, because these guys are my friends and my colleagues. Pat Shurmur was on Coach [Andy] Reid’s staff when I played for coach Reid.”
Here’s a round-up of teams with head-coaching vacancies heading into the offseason, and potential replacements.
Could the Giants land Matt Rhule?
The Giants will look to hire their third head coach in five years after saying goodbye to Shurmur.
Leading the search will be Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, who the team announced will keep his job (along with director of college scouting Chris Pettit). Among the names mentioned to fill the vacancy is Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, who previously coached at Temple University and has turned a 1-11 team into a Sugar Bowl-bound 11-2 team in just three seasons.
Before becoming Temple’s head coach in 2012, Rhule spent one year with the Giants as an assistant offensive line coach on Tom Coughlin’s staff. But Rhule appears to be a hot commodity this offseason, and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for both the Panthers and the Cowboys (assuming Garrett does indeed depart).
One complicating factor is Rhule reportedly has a large buyout as part of a contract extension he signed with Baylor at the beginning of the year.
Ron Rivera expected to be hired by the Redskins
Multiple reports indicate the Redskins will interview former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera on Monday, and barring any unforeseen issues, will hire him to replace Jay Gruden. If hired, Rivera would be the seventh head coach brought in by owner Dan Snyder, who purchased the team in 1999.
The news comes as the team announced it was parting ways with president Bruce Allen after 10 years, part of an overhaul of the organization’s front office. The Washington Post reports that former Ohio State coach and current Fox Sports analyst Urban Meyer is being considered for a role in the Redskins’ front office, but he might be more interested in pursuing a head coaching job instead.
Lots of interest in Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels
With the New England Patriots preparing for their Sunday playoff match-up against the Tennessee Titans, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is reportedly being targeted by multiple teams.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Browns, Panthers, and Giants have all formally requested permission to interview McDaniels, who told reporters he’s not paying attention to the rumor mill involving his future.
“With all due respect to the question I’m not even aware of any of that stuff at this point so,” McDaniels said. “When that stuff is presented to me or discussed with me or whatever, we will deal with it appropriately.”
Back in February, McDaniels withdrew from an agreement to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, choosing instead to sign a five-year contract extension with the Patriots. McDaniels went 11-17 during his two seasons as head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Doug Marrone remains the Jaguars’ head coach ... for now
On Sunday, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone would be fired after their Week 17 match-up against the Colts. But other ESPN NFL reporters have indicated Marrone would remain with the team pending a meeting with ownership Tuesday morning.
“There’s been indications both ways, that’s all I can tell you,” ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen said on Monday’s SportsCenter special. “We’ll know more after they meet tomorrow.”
“Am I concerned? Yes,” Marrone told reporters on Sunday following the game. “You’re always concerned when you have a disappointing season ... I might have a little bit more than one beer.”
Marrone is 22-28 in four season as the Jaguars’ head coach. He also spent two seasons in Buffalo coaching the Bills.