Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that all signs are pointing to Doug Marrone as the next head coach of the Jets. La Canfora notes that many of the candidates that New York is interviewing for its general manager position have strong ties to Marrone, including top candidate Mike Maccagnan. Maccagnan once signed Marrone to quarterback the London Monarchs of the now extinct World League of American Football in 1991, and the two men have developed a close personal relationship since then.
Other GM candidates like Rick Mueller, Bill Kuharich, and Ryan Pace also have ties to Marrone. Jets owner Woody Johnson would like to announce his new GM and head coach no later than the end of this week, and some believe the Jets could be the first team to do so. At the moment, the smart money appears to be on a Maccagnan/Marrone pairing in New York.
Now for some more notes from the league’s east divisions:
- Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News believes that if the Jets end up hiring Marrone, “Jets fans will have every right to believe the thing was fixed fight from the beginning.” The “thing,” of course, is Marrone’s opting out of his contract with the Bills. If he is subsequently hired by New York, it will appear as though he had a back-door agreement with Charley Casserly, who is acting as Johnson’s primary adviser in the hiring process (Twitter link to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who described in a full-length piece how Marrone alienated members of the Bills administration during his two years in Buffalo).
- After being snubbed by Bill Polian, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that Bills owner Terry Pegula is still interested in hiring a “football czar” as he focuses in the short term on finding a new head coach.
- Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that, even though the Larry Fitzgerald-to-the-Patriots rumors have swirled for the past several seasons, those rumblings might have some legs this offseason.
- Rich Tandler of CSN Washington.com notes that Wade Phillips‘ age (68) has some wondering if Washington should opt for a younger candidate to fill its vacant defensive coordinator position, but Tandler believes Phillips’ recent pedigree suggests that his age should not be a major consideration.
- We learned earlier today that the Raiders have requested permission to interview Cowboys‘ passing game coordinator Scott Linehan, and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that Dallas is also in danger of losing defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. The contracts of both men expire at the end of this season, and Rapoport tweets that Marinelli may be wooed by the Buccaneers if talks with the Cowboys do not progress.
- Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram adds (via Twitter) that the Cowboys also stand to lose offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, whose contract is also set to expire at season’s end.
- Mark Eckel of NJ.com provides a list of five candidates the Eagles should consider in filling their GM position.