Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, a day when folks stay up late, get out early and shop until they drop in search of the best deals for the holiday season. And then there is Black Monday which refers to the day after the NFL Regular season ends…and for some, job tenures come to an end as well.
The New Orleans Saints franchise is most certainly not a team in the Black Monday category. But there were questions about the future of Coach Sean Payton. However, all of that speculation came to a halt late Friday evening when it was announced that Coach Payton had agreed to a new five year extension with the Black and Gold which could make him the highest paid coach in the NFL.
Usually a handful of coaches are shown the door with vacancies needing to be filled, and this year there could be a record number of jobs that need to be filled once the 2012 NFL regular season concludes. So let’s take a stab at how many jobs that could become available.
First, let’s start in the American Football Conference. We will begin in the AFC East where two jobs could become available. It looks like there will be a chance in upstate New York as the Buffalo Bills will once again have another losing season.
The Bills and Coach Chan Gailey have underachieved in a division that is rather weak outside of the powerful New England Patriots. With a roster that is stocked with some pretty good offensive players and a defense that got a boost from DE Mario Williams, a new coach will have some good pieces in place.
If the NY Jets part ways with Rex Ryan, it will largely be due to the way Ryan has not been able to get a decent offense in place after having a very good defense in each season he has been coach of the Jets. The signing of Tim Tebow this off-season and the play of veteran QB Mark Sanchez has been horrible, to say the least.
The Jets job may be the most difficult to take over, as this team is clearly a defensive-built club…and if a new coach comes in without a strong defensive presence or at the very least a quality defensive coordinator, it could be trouble. To me, the Jets are better off keeping Ryan in place.
Browns Coach Pat Shurmur is more than likely on his way out in Cleveland and he has really done a pretty good job. The Browns are going to have a lot of new leadership with a new owner in place, a new GM and a new head coach. This is a good job in my opinion. Cleveland is equipped on both sides of the ball, they have playmakers on special teams, and the Browns are the youngest team in the NFL. Plus the Browns have one of the most loyal and dedicated fan bases in all of sports.
In the AFC South, just one coach looks to be in trouble right now and that is Tennessee Titans Coach Mike Munchak. Although Munchak is only in his second season, the Titans are not a very good team and team owner Bud Adams does not seemed to be pleased with the progress of his team. The Titans finished second in the AFC South last season but are now clearly far behind the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts.
Out in the AFC West, two coaches will be looking for employment after Black Monday. Without a doubt the Norv Turner era will come to an end in San Diego. The Chargers are a bad team and the change at coach may not be the only void that needs to be filled as GM L.J. Smith could very well be on his way out also.
In Kansas City, Chiefs Coach Romeo Crennel will more than likely be replaced…and as in San Diego, the Chiefs could be seeking to get a new General Manager, as current GM Scott Pioli has not lived up to his expectations. Crennel is respected within the KC Organization and he has handled the late season tragedy as well as anyone could have expected but at 2-12 with two games left, Kansas City needs to move on and get a new leader. After five players from your team make the Pro Bowl and all you do is win two games, that tells me something is wrong with the coaching.
Now as we move over into the National Football Conference, we begin with the longest tenured coach in the NFL is on his way out. Andy Reid, who once led the Philadelphia Eagles to four straight NFC Title Games (five total) and one Super Bowl is on his way out in the City of Brotherly Love. However, some think that if Reid makes some major adjustments to his current staff he may be able to keep his job with the Eagles.
Reid has been in charge of the Eagles since 1999 and his 14-year stint will come to an end this season. Reid had some of the most successful seasons in NFL history, but was unable to lead the Eagles to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Reid will not be out of work for long, as he will most certainly be hired to fill one of the other vacancies if he decides to coach this season. Reid may take a season off and then come back to coaching in a year or two. The death of his son, as well as dealing with the day to day operations of the NFL as a head coach and Executive VP of football operations, had to take somewhat of a toll on Reid. But hey let’s face it…if any team, high school, college or pro got a 14 year run out of every coach they hired, they would be pretty good to say the least.
Way out west, Arizona Coach Ken Whisenhunt is on his way out as well. Whisenhunt was once the toast of the town as he became the first head coach to ever lead the Cardinals to the NFC title and the Super Bowl when Arizona accomplished those feats back in 2008.
But now the Cardinals are a franchise in disarray. So as the final weekend of the NFL season wraps up, the most dreaded day in the NFL could produce record numbers when it comes to coaches being let go from their current positions.