2024 NFL head coaching vacancy rankings: Chiefs on top, Panthers at bottom

The 2023 NFL season has flown by, but the 2024 NFL offseason is off to a slow start, with the possibility of some big names holding back the coaching movement. Until newly minted national champion Jim Harbaugh and six-time Super Bowl champion Bill Belichick figure out their situation, we might be in for something.

Mike Vrabel’s situation is also volatile, with a lot of uncertainty hanging over Nashville. As such, we currently only have five openings in the NFL, a surprisingly small number just days after the end of the regular season.

Things will probably change and we will see more jobs opening up, but for now we can only rank the available ones. There are also two separate classes, with four teams entering the top tier, all very, very close to each other, and another job down at the bottom.

Let’s rank and discuss. Send your complaints, suggestions and angry words to me on Twitter/X @WillBrinson.

For nearly 25 years, Dan Snyder made working in Washington a disaster. He was going to attract big-time candidates because coaching in Washington was a BIG DEAL. It was one of the biggest franchises in the NFL for several decades and Snyder made it almost untouchable. Enter Josh Harris, who did a great job simply with doing the opposite of Dan Snyder. Let’s say: Harris didn’t fire Ron Rivera in his first season as owner and handled the whole situation with aplomb. He then recruited Bob Myers and Rick Spielman to be part of his search committee, and there was hope again in Washington. Things could change (David Tepper looked like a good owner early on), but for now the Commanders top this list because they have a new, seemingly patient owner in charge and a clear commitment to winning while turning around the toxic culture that has permeated the perimeter. way for years.

Washington is the No. 2 pick, which doesn’t hurt either. (Maybe they can draft Drake May, pair him with Sam Howell, hire Mack Brown, and guarantee themselves eight wins a year just like the Tar Heels!) The midseason trade of Chase Young and Montez Sweet isn’t great, but increases draft capital for the incoming coaching staff and by avoiding giving away contracts to former first-round picks and clearing a lot of salary cap space.

There’s an opportunity here to land a franchise quarterback with potentially strong ownership, a fantastic fanbase dying for quality football and potentially a new stadium. Working in Washington has become extremely attractive again.

Two words: Justin Herbert. It’s amazing what a difference a superstar franchise quarterback makes when ranking potential vacancies, because the Chargers would be far down the list without Herbert. I’d actually put the Chargers fourth if they didn’t have Herbert, mainly because of ownership and management concerns. A caveat applies here if the Chargers hire someone like Jim Harbaugh or Bill Belichick, because bringing that kind of weight into the building changes the power dynamic between ownership and the coaching staff/front office. But read John Spanos’ bio on the Chargers website – the son of the owner basically praises himself for taking the Chargers to prominence (which is quite a statement; maybe also maybe update it and stop bragging about the hiring of Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley?).

I’m extremely worried about the front office/coaching staff dynamic here based on this situation, but Herbert’s skill set can overcome any issues with the right coaching hire. The Chargers also have some roster issues to deal with. While there is plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, he is quietly aging and bloated from a contractual standpoint. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams aren’t sure to make the roster, and Khalil Mack/Joey Bosa aren’t exactly spring chickens either. Austin Ekeler’s return is certainly in question as well … there’s a little more uncertainty with this roster than you might think from looking at the depth chart.

Hot opinion, but I’d listen to anyone who says the Falcons should be the NUMBER ONE JOB here. This is a team that has one more top-10 pick after going 7-10 and may just be a quarterback away from taking over the NFC South. Being in a bad division is a big plus because winning 10 games is a death knell for a division title in the NFC South these days. Offensively, there are QB weapons as well: Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson, along with a pretty decent and secure offensive line, could turn someone like Justin Fields, Kirk Cousins, or Jaden Daniels into a dynamic signal-caller pretty quickly.

There is some stability in Atlanta despite the lack of significant wins. Arthur Blank gave his coaches plenty of chances to win, with Mike Smith getting seven years, Dan Quinn getting six and Arthur Smith getting three years with seven wins before being released. You won’t escape the city too quickly if you keep your head above water in Atlanta. In fact, I think it’s possible that outside interest in the job could hasten Smith’s departure.

That defense was really good last year. If it sticks and the Falcons find a quality offensive coach and quarterback, there’s some serious upside for Atlanta here.

That situation looks like it could be somewhat narrowed down to a handful of candidates, though that changes dramatically depending on what Mark Davis does with the also-vacant general manager position.

Quarterback is also an issue here, with the Raiders’ Jimmy Garoppolo gambit failing (largely because Josh McDaniels failed). Aidan O’Connell showed some things in the second half, but this is clearly a team in search of the next franchise quarterback. The stadium is extremely attractive, as is the high-profile nature of the team now that it’s in Las Vegas.

There have been several head coach changes for the Raiders over the past five years, but you can certainly point to extenuating circumstances — Jon Gruden would have had as much time as he wanted in Las Vegas before an email scandal forced him to leave. And McDaniels just tried to build the Patriots in the West and probably froze Davis out as he tried to take control of the organization like Bill Belichick. In other words, the next Raiders coach will be given some leeway, especially if he’s a big name. I’m looking at you, Jim Harbaugh.

Antonio Pierce definitely complicates things. The interim coach is beloved in the locker room and by the fans, so the Raiders have to be a little careful about recreating the last situation with a big-name coach. Max Crosby and Davante Adams are downright superstars. Separation is a big old problem, just like with the Chargers, only there’s still no quarterback here.


My position on the Carolina situation is well documented: The Panthers have a problem with David Tepper. Fortunately for Tepper, he has tons of money and can keep throwing money at the problem.

Credit to the Panthers for being much more transparent and open about this coaching search than the last two. Unfortunately, remnants of the previous two regimes still linger. Specifically, the Panthers are trading the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Bears, plus DJ Moore, plus additional picks for Bryce Young.

Young could still be a good quarterback, but his rookie season could potentially limit the candidates. It’s also hard to look past Matt Ruhl and Frank Reich, making it a total of three years between them.

Carolina seems to be chasing the “young offensive mind” archetype with the idea of ​​fixing Young, which isn’t a terrible idea. But this is a really, really big hire that should work better — or at least longer — than the last two hires. The Panthers have no first-round pick, plenty of roster holes and plenty of questions about the stability of the administration in place.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *