Black Monday is underway, and a handful of teams are expected to make announcements today regarding changes to their coaching staffs and/or front offices. Here are a few of the latest rumors to start off the day:
- The Jets were the first team to formally announce the firing of a head coach this morning, and Rex Ryan appreciated the quick, definitive decision from owner Woody Johnson, since he feels as if he has a chance at another head coaching job, as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. Per Mehta (Twitter links), Ryan will explore head coaching opportunities, and if he doesn’t land a job, he believes his next role will be with ESPN — he doesn’t have interest in any defensive coordinator positions.
- Mike Smith is “absolutely done” in Atlanta, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. That coincides with what we’ve heard in recent weeks, and is no surprise, considering how the Falcons finished their regular season yesterday. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicates (via Twitter) that while Smith’s tenure with the Falcons is “on life support,” the same doesn’t appear to be true for general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
- While multiple reports have suggested the Bears will likely part ways with head coach Marc Trestman, Trestman himself is preparing as if he’ll return for the 2015 season, writes Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. Rapoport tweets that the Bears head coach figures to make a “strong case” to save his job, perhaps pointing to the performance by quarterbacks not named Jay Cutler in his system. Still, it’s hard to imagine the club bringing Trestman back for another year.
- The 49ers are in no hurry to name their next head coach, according to Rapoport, who tweets that the search is expected to be “lengthy and methodical.” One in-house candidate, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, won’t be joining Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor, says Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. As for Harbaugh’s offer from Michigan, Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link) hears that it could ultimately get up to $9MM per year, since there was some “quiet bidding” over the weekend.
- The Raiders were “truly in the mix” for Harbaugh before he decided to go to Michigan, reports Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, adding that Harbaugh was the Raiders’ top choice and they were disappointed not to land him. Oakland is now expected to cast a wide net as the club attempts to identify its next coach, though if it were up to the players, perhaps interim coach Tony Sparano would be the top choice, says Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. Sparano will have the opportunity to interview for the permanent job, tweets Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com.
- Titans CEO Tommy Smith reiterated yesterday that head coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Ruston Webster will both be back for the 2015 season, writes Terry McCormick of 247Sports.com.