With yesterday’s announcement that the new head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers will be Jim Harbaugh, who is leaving Michigan after capping his ninth season with the school’s first national championship since 1997, there are now just four NFL teams who are still searching for a head honcho to run their team next season: the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders and Seattle Seahawks.
The coaching jobs in the NFL, obviously, are limited. The number of prospective coaches who are hoping to get one of those jobs is not. There are offensive and defensive coordinators like Aaron Glenn (Lions), Ben Johnson (Lions) and Bobby Slowik (Texans) who are looking to move up a rank, and fired head coaches like Mike Vrabel (ex-Titan) and Bill Belichick (ex-Pat) who are looking to stay in the game.
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For the latter, a market that some projected to be robust (not us) has all but dried up and his talks with the only team he’s met with about their coaching vacancy, the Falcons, have “lost momentum in the past week,” The Athletic reported. That being the case, and adding in the fact that Atlanta is still meeting with qualified candidates like Vrabel, it appears there is a very real possibility that Belichick will not be a head coach in the NFL for the first time this century when next season begins.
Those who believe Belichick, who will be 72 by the time next season begins, still has something left in the tank will point out that what is happening with the longtime coach is eerily similar to what happened with his longtime quarterback after he announced he was leaving New England. Tom Brady, a six-time Super Bowl winner (at the time) on the wrong side of 40, had almost no market for his services after he departed from the Patriots and was left with Tampa Bay as his only option. We all know how that one ended up.
It’d be ridiculous to predict a similar fate for Belichick, who is chasing Don Shula’s all-time wins record as well as a Super Bowl victory sans Brady as his quarterback, but it’s also kind of hard to fathom that the only landing spot for the coach who many believe to be the greatest of all time is in the NFC South with the Falcons, a franchise with the same amount of prestige (none) as the Bucs.
However, that certainly appears to be the reality as the Panthers, Commanders and Seahawks have shown no interest in Belichick and there are no other openings, unless another coach gets fired. And, considering no one wanted Brady, maybe it’s actually not so crazy that no one wants Belichick. Time will tell.
UDPATE: The Panthers have hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales as their new head coach and the Falcons have agreed to terms with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, meaning there are now only two head coaching vacancies remaining.