Like every year, the end of the regular season means the end of the adventure for many coaches. In 2022, 8 franchises should change their main coach, which is as many opportunities for candidates, free or in post as coordinator. If coaching in the NFL is a dream, some positions are more desirable than others.
1-Las Vegas Raiders
General Manager: Mike Mayock / Draft 2022: 7 picks (extra 5th, Minus 6th) / Cap Space: $41,028,568 / Free Agents (main): KJ Wright, Nicholas Morrow
Officially, the position is not (yet) open. But rumors suggest that the coaching spot will be free after the playoffs. Las Vegas is the only team on the roster still in the running, despite a huge split, and the loss of the head coach and No. 1 receiver. This group, while imperfect, has heart and talent.
Las Vegas needs to strengthen positions, especially in attack, and has the financial flexibility to do so. When you know that the club also has a quarterback franchise, you quickly understand why the position is attractive. If a return of Rich Bisaccia is not impossible, the Raiders could turn to a more « sexy » profile.
Prognosis : Jim Harbaugh
General Manager: Chris Grier / Draft 2022: 8 picks (extra 4th) / Cap Space: $73,689,690 / Free Agents (main): Will Fuller, Emmanuel Ogbah, Jacoby Brissett, Mike Gesicki
After the surprise departure of Brian Flores, the place is to be taken in Miami. If the maintenance of General Manager Chris Grier may surprise (see worry), the place remains prestigious. First because Miami has a talented, albeit incomplete, workforce, especially in defense.
But above all, Miami is the team with the most available cap in the league, which leaves the opportunity to strengthen areas that need it, such as the quarterback position and the offensive line. Recruitment of Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers or another strategy: any attempt is possible. The future (or not) of Tua Tagovailoa will be the key for recruitment: there must be a total agreement between the General Manager and the coach. Either way, an attacking spirit could do some good.
Prognosis : Kellen Moore.
3- Minnesota Vikings
General Manager: Free / Draft 2022: 8 picks (minus 4th, 2x extra 6th) / Cap Space: ($9,131,938) / Free Agents (main): Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen, Sheldon Richardson
On paper, it’s the best squad of the lot: an experienced quarterback (Kirk Cousins) “talented skill players (Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen…) and stars in defense (Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter). Almost an anomaly to see that this team did not make the playoffs.
The next coach therefore already has a backbone, even if the financial situation will require adjusting salaries or parting with one or two stars (this aspect will be impacted by the choice of the new General Manager). The Vikings are not in the bottom of the league, they just need a man capable of turning a corner next season to claim the title.
Prognosis : Nathaniel Hackett
General Manager: Free / Draft 2022: 5 picks (minus 1st, minus 4th, minus 7th, extra 5th) / Cap Space: $39,472,053 / Free Agents (main): Allen Robinson, Akiem Hicks, Andy Dalton
To grow Justin Fields, here is the number 1 objective of the next Bears coach. If the defense has a lot of talent, the attack must be rebuilt almost entirely. The draft won’t necessarily be much help, since the Bears don’t have a first-round draft pick this season.
With the departure of Allen Robinson, finding targets and an offensive organization is the priority, and an offensive coach seems like a logical choice. The financial situation is not ideal, but not catastrophic either, which leaves the possibility of reinforcement by free agents. It may be necessary to sell stars to get back on the right track, and see the project in the long term.
Prognosis : Brian Daboll
5 – Denver Broncos
General Manager: George Paton / Draft 2022: 9 picks (extra 2nd, extra 3rd) / Cap Space: $42,342,148 / Free Agents (main): Kyle Fuller, Melvin Gordon, Kareem Jackson
The Broncos have a fairly full roster, but the future is uncertain for the Rockies following recent court rulings that appear to be accelerating the likely sale of the franchise. This uncertainty may scare the next manager, but it’s still hard to resist the lure of the job.
Denver is only one quarterback from the playoffs, which is not much and at the same time huge. With the 9th choice, the new coach should be able to take a bet if he feels the need, it will surely be a strong subject of discussion with George Paton before a recruitment. With 5 choices in the first three rounds, there is enough to strengthen a solid workforce, the site seems to be one of the least difficult on this list.
Prognosis : Dan Quinn
6 – Jacksonville Jaguars
General Manager: Trent Baalke / Draft 2022: 12 picks (extra 3rd, 3x extra 6th, extra 7th) / Cap Space: $61,498,837 / Free Agents (main): Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, DJ Chark
Aside from the presence of Trevor Lawrence, who has yet to prove he’s worth the « hype » that has surrounded him for years, and Josh Allen, there aren’t many sources of optimism in this squad. . Jacksonville is starting from scratch, and the past two seasons prove there’s a lot of work to be done to make this team viable.
Traumatized by the Urban Meyer experience, Jacksonville must find a leader of men, close to the players and able to gain confidence in a young quarterback. For a « builder » the task is motivating, even if it will be necessary to be patient, but there are draft choices and payroll available to work. Tip to make the job more attractive: fire Trent Baalke, who makes it worse with each new experience.
Prognosis : Doug Pederson
General Manager: Nick Caserio / Draft 2022: 9 picks (extra 3rd, minus 5th, 2x extra 6th) / Cap Space: $20,576,868 / Free Agents (main): David Johnson, Desmond King, Kamu Grugier-Hill
Despite a great 2021 season given the current workforce, David Culley took the door. He leaves the franchise in a better state than a year ago, with grounds for hope. David Mills first proved he deserved a chance, after an injury-hindered college career.
Even if the 2022 payroll is limited (35 million lost money!), the new coach will have full flexibility to build a group over two years, given the few players on long contracts. If we except an owner with dubious relations, this franchise can make you want as the challenge seems to give enormous flexibility to the main trainer.
Prognosis : Brian Flores
8 – New York Giants
General Manager: Free / Draft 2022: 9 picks (extra 1st, extra 3rd, extra 5th, minus 7th) / Cap Space: ($367,578) / Free Agents (main): Nate Solder, Jabrill Peppers, Evan Engram
The Giants have two top 10 picks and decent defense. So much for the positive. The new franchise coach will have a lot to do, with a workforce that requires many reinforcements, especially in attack, and has little financial flexibility.
The questions are many, and it starts with a difficult decision to be made at the quarterback level. Sanitation of the franchise will take time, given the trauma that was this end of the season, and the number 1 priority will be to make this group (and Kenny Golladay) want again. There are individuals, you have to build a group.
Prognosis : Leslie Frazier