Like Black Friday, Black Monday now starts a day early. So when Sunday rolls around, who will be out?
Here’s a look at the candidates to be coaching elsewhere after the 2019 season ends for their respective teams.
Pat Shurmur, Giants: It’s being regarded as a given that Shurmur will be fired. The Giants haven’t said he’s safe, which means that he’s in danger, grave or otherwise. He’s done poorly in two years on the job, tying the team record for consecutive losses (nine) and winning fewer games than Ben McAdoo, who unlike Shurmur didn’t get to finish his second season. It would be a surprise if Shurmur stays put.
Freddie Kitchens, Browns: The experiment has gone poorly. But dysfunctional teams do dysfunctional things, and it would be no surprise if the Browns fail to admit their mistake and move on — like they did with Hue Jackson after 2016. And after 2017. The bigger challenge for the Browns comes from the lingering disagreements between G.M. John Dorsey and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta regarding big-picture questions, like who the coach should be.
Doug Marrone, Jaguars: Some think that if he was going to go, he would have gone with Tom Coughlin. Others think Marrone remains in trouble. If the organization plans to give Gardner Minshew a chance to become the franchise quarterback, it makes sense to keep Marrone and G.M. Dave Caldwell around.
Jason Garrett, Cowboys: With a contract expiring when the season ends, Garrett’s tenure definitely ends if the Cowboys fail to make it to the playoffs. Even if they do, Garrett likely needs to get to the NFC title game to get a third contract, even though the Cowboys haven’t gotten that far since 1995.
Mike Zimmer, Vikings: His contract expires after the 2020 season, and there was a clear sense in league circles that failure to make the playoffs could prompt ownership to look elsewhere. So what if the Vikings flame out in the wild-card round? Zimmer could end up becoming the latest coach to enter the last year of his contract, a dynamic that has played out more and more frequently in recent years.
Anthony Lynn, Chargers: It seems like there’s a surprise firing or resignation every year. This year, league insiders are watching the Chargers. Lynn was 12-4 a year ago, but the Chargers have failed in 2019 — and they continue to fail to resonate in L.A. While Lynn doesn’t deserve it, it could be coming.
Dan Quinn is safe in Atlanta, Matt Patricia will return in Detroit, and Adam Gase will get a second season with the Jets. Another surprise (or two) can’t be ruled out; it could come from the Steelers letting Mike Tomlin head to Carolina (or Washington), the Saints allowing Sean Payton to coach the Cowboys, Bill Belichick handing the reins to his son, Steve, in New England, Andy Reid winning a Super Bowl and walking away, or some other unexpected development that currently isn’t on the radar screen. Whatever the outcome, two spots (Washington and Carolina) already are open, and several more inevitably will arise — starting Sunday.