As the AFC’s top seed, the 14-2 Patriots will be on a bye during the first week of the playoffs, but offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could be busy. Three teams with head coaching vacancies – the Rams, 49ers and Jaguars – have reached out to the 40-year-old, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). It’s unclear if McDaniels will interview with any of those teams, but the upcoming week will be his last chance for a while if the Patriots advance to the Super Bowl.
McDaniels is reportedly likely to take a head coaching job this offseason, which would mean doing so for the second time in his career. He was previously atop the Broncos from 2009-10, but they went just 11-17 on his watch despite starting 6-0. McDaniels has rebuilt his stock in his second stint as the Patriots’ O-coordinator, though, and could be on his way to securing a fifth Super Bowl ring as an assistant.
Of the clubs showing interest in the quarterback guru, San Francisco is the only one without a recent first-round pick under center. The 49ers might not have an answer at quarterback on their roster at all, depending on what happens with Colin Kaepernick, though they are armed with the second pick in the 2017 draft and a boatload of cap space.
The Rams, meanwhile, have last year’s No. 1 overall selection, Jared Goff, who struggled in six games as a rookie. Jacksonille’s Blake Bortles hasn’t lived up to his draft status (third overall, 2014), but it’s possible he’d realize his potential under McDaniels. In the event McDaniels is bearish on him, the Jags wouldn’t force him to stick with Bortles.
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