After a winning season, there was hope for the Bills to make progress in 2015, but head coach Doug Marrone took advantage of a three-day opt-out window in his contract on Dec. 31. Marrone was seeking a two-year extension from the team, according to a Scout.com source in the organization, and ownership declined. He countered by opting out and will still get $4 million from the team and is a coaching free agent. The search for a replacement is on, with former Bills QB Frank Reich among the considerations.
UPDATED - 9:09 p.m. 1/7/2015) - Buffalo is also considering a handful of coordinators on both sides of the ball like Darrell Bevell (Seattle), Dan Quinn (Seattle), Hue Jackson (Cincinnati), Teryl Austin (Detroit), Adam Gase (Denver), Josh McDaniels (New England), Pat Shurmur (Philadelphia), and Greg Roman (San Francisco). The Bills have already spoken with former Broncos and Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan.
The teams defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will interview today (1/7/15). Buffalo will also bring in Rex Ryan for an interview.
The Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman Monday morning after a mess of season that involved losing the final five games. The Bears finished 5-11 and the future of several key players, including QB Jay Cutler, is uncertain.
The Bears don’t have the worst record in the NFL, but their season has been an unquestioned dumpster fire. The old men of the defense – Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs – weren’t able to stay healthy as the Bears fell to the 30th-ranked defense. Jay Cutler and his big-bucks contract are simply not worth the investment. Marc Trestman, often described as a “quarterback whisperer,” isn’t likely to survive this one.
So Chicago is working two fronts - GM and head coach. It looks like they may have found their new general manager in Chris Ballard (from Kansas City). For more with this story click here.
In terms of potential coaches there have been reports that the Bears have already spoken with Dan Quinn and Adam Gase and will speak with Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles later this week. Doug Marrone could also find himself in the mix.
Atlanta Falcons (6-9)
The Falcons announced the firing of head coach Mike Smith on Monday morning after he failed to get the team into the playoffs. It might have taken more than just making the playoffs to save Smith’s job, anyways, since the NFC South was a losing division. The Falcons finished 6-10 and in third place in the NFC South after having a shot to make the playoffs with a win-and-in scenario on Sunday. They lost 34-3 to division rival Carolina.
The Falcons spoke with Doug Marrone on Monday (1-5). Atlanta has also interviewed Josh McDaniels and their own special teams coach Keith Armstrong. Rex Ryan, Dan Quinn, Teryl Austin and Todd Bowles are all reported to be in the mix. The Falcons are slated to speak with Bowles on Thursday.
New York Jets (3-12)
Jets owner Woody Johnson announced on Black Monday [morning] that he fired head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik. Ryan had a 46-50 regular-season record with the Jets, who were 4-12 this year. The move started off Black Monday for head coaches on the hot seat.
UPDATED - 9:43 a.m. 1/7/2015)Reports surfaced yesterday that Doug Marrone was the leading candidate to replace Rex Ryan in New York. Frank Reich, Gary Kubiak (Baltimore), Tom Cable, Dan Quinn, and Todd Bowles are all coaches that will receive strong consideration.
Bowles and Reich are both slated to speak with the Jets today.
The team announced it was parting ways with him after 20-17 win against the Arizona Cardinals. He leaves with one year left on his five-year, $25 million deal. Harbaugh was named the Michigan Wolverines head coach last week.
The 49er are interested in a handful of coaches on several fronts like Rex Ryan, Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Dan Quinn, Adam Gase, Josh McDaniels, Teryl Austin, and Todd Bowles. Of course they could promote from within with a guy like Vic Fangio.
Tony Sparano had a chance to win a longer tenure as the interim coach replacing Dennis Allen after an 0-4 start. The Raiders played much better during the second half of the season and won three games. Will that be enough to save Sparano?
It's doubtful. Sparano is still being considered for the position along with a handful of other coaches like former head coaches Mike Shanahan, Pat Shurmur, Jack Del Rio (Denver) and Scott Linehan (Dallas). Also reported to be in the mix are Todd Bowles, Pep Hamilton, Eric Mangini, and Darrell Bevell.