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Top NFL Coaching Vacancies

By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.

With the New York Giants’ dismissal of Joe Judge earlier today, there are now seven head coaching vacancies in the NFL. That number might increase in the next few days, with Houston’s David Culley and even Carolina’s Matt Rhule rumored to be on the hot seat. Of course, not every NFL head coaching job is equal. Some are more attractive than others. We rank the most desirable head coaching openings in ascending order:

7 – MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Mike Zimmer is a respected coach, but even he could not pull the Vikings out from mediocrity in his eight seasons with the franchise. Minnesota hasn’t made a Super Bowl appearance since the 1976 season, when Jimmy Carter was U.S. President. The Viking have some talented players, but are projected to be some $17 million over the salary cap for next season, meaning some tough roster decisions will need to be made.

6 – NEW YORK GIANTS: Coaching in New York can be a blessing and a curse, but the demands and scrutiny of the position tend to make for short careers. That’s one reason why the Giants have gone through four head coaches since 2015. Questionable management decisions have put the team in a bind – is Daniel Jones the Giants’ franchise QB or not? – and the roster is in need of an overhaul. The Vikings are also projected to be more than $3 million over the salary cap. One bright spot: They have both the No. 5 and No. 7 picks in this year’s draft.

5 – DENVER BRONCOS: The Broncos have some talented players on their roster, particularly on defense. But their lack of a viable starting QB has been this team’s undoing for the past several seasons. Denver has the ninth pick in the upcoming draft, but this year’s QB class is pretty weak overall. Plus, the Broncos are in perhaps the league’s toughest division.

4 – CHICAGO BEARS: Realistically, the Bears don’t have much to offer an aspiring head coach. They don’t even have a first-round draft pick this year, having dealt it to the Giants last year for the right to draft Justin Fields. On the plus side, the Bears have a projected $43 million in cap space to bolster their roster, and they have Fields, who should develop into the team’s best QB since Jim McMahon.

3 – JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: The Urban Meyer experiment was a disaster, but there’s still plenty of hope for Jags fans. Jacksonville has their franchise QB in Trevor Lawrence, they have the top pick in the upcoming draft and they’ll have nearly $64 million in cap space to play with. Not to mention, RB Travis Etienne, the team’s second first-round pick last season (along with Lawrence), is reportedly recovering nicely from his foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2021 campaign.

2 – MIAMI DOLPHINS: Miami is an attractive opportunity for prospective coaches because, first and foremost, the Dolphins are already a playoff-ready team. They have a talented defensive unit and a developing offense featuring a top young receiver in Jaylen Waddle. Tua Tagovailoa may or may not be the team’s answer at QB, but even if he isn’t, he would likely bring in some quality assets in a trade. Finally, who wouldn’t want to live in South Beach?

1 – LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: Yes, owner Mark Davis may still decide to remove the “interim” tag off of current head coach Rich Bisaccia. But in the event he doesn’t, the new coach will inherit a roster full of young talent (Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow, Nate Hobbs, Trevon Moehrig, Kolton Miller, etc.). He’ll also have a Top 10 QB in Derek Carr, who has one year left on his contract. The Raiders will have about $40 million in available cap space. Las Vegas will be an alluring destination for free agents.

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