Aaron Whitecotton

Extra Points: Dak, Shurmur, Browns, 49ers

Dak Prescott‘s second contract has been a front-burner matter in NFL news cycles for nearly a year, but the Cowboys and their starting quarterback remain apart on terms. The four-year starter’s demands were north of $30MM AAV last year, and they were believed to be in the range of Russell Wilson‘s $35MM-per-year amount. While it’s uncertain if the Cowboys are comfortable getting to that figure, they will not have to go too much higher. Prescott is not asking to become the league’s first $40MM-per-year player, Jay Glazer of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Patrick Mahomes is the leading candidate to get there first, but while the Chiefs’ superstar passer is barely a month into his extension-eligible period, Prescott is 13-plus months into that window. After talks centering around a $33MM-per-year accord broke down during the season, the franchise tag now looks like a real possibility.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • After Joe Woods agreed to become the Browns‘ defensive coordinator, he has already secured one 49ers assistant to make the trip to Cleveland with him. Woods will bring in 49ers pass rush specialist Chris Kiffin to serve as Browns defensive line coach, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio reports (on Twitter). The son of longtime NFL DC Monte Kiffin and younger brother of Lane Kiffin, Chris spent the past two seasons with the 49ers. Previously Lane’s DC at Florida Atlantic, Chris has spent most of his career at the college level.
  • The 49ers appear to have a replacement lined up. Aaron Whitecotton will join San Francisco’s defensive staff, per Marvez. A Bills assistant for three seasons, Whitecotton worked with 49ers DC Robert Saleh for four seasons in Jacksonville prior to relocating to Buffalo.
  • Despite indicating his coordinators would return for the 2020 season, Broncos HC Vic Fangio‘s change of heart led for a Rich Scangarello-to-Pat Shurmur transition. Fangio decided a few days after making that proclamation he would fire Scangarello, and Shurmur will become the Broncos’ fifth offensive coordinator since 2016. The ex-Giants and Browns HC’s experience pushed Fangio to hire him. “The experience was an extra crumb that Pat has,” Fangio said, via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala (subscription required). “I think Pat’s in his early 50s (54) and has coached 20 years, but if he was in his early 40s and coached 10 years, he still would have been the right guy for the job. … Once I decided to make the move, he was the first guy I called.” Fangio and Shurmur coached against each other in the NFC North for two seasons from 2016-17, when Shurmur was Minnesota’s OC.

Coaching Notes: Monken, Chiefs, Lions, Bills

Todd Monken became the Buccaneers‘ offensive coordinator once Dirk Koetter rose to the HC spot, but he will now have more time to concentrate on the offense from a macro sense. The Bucs announced the promotion of Skyler Fulton to the role of wide receivers coach. Monken had served in a dual capacity of overseeing Tampa Bay’s wideouts and running the offense the past two years. This staff adjustment, however, won’t result in Monken calling plays, with Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk noting Koetter will still do that next season.

Fulton joined the Bucs’ staff during the 2016 preseason as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. The 35-year-old assistant played wide receiver under Koetter at Arizona State before a short NFL career. He received his first assistant-coaching opportunity in instructing running backs at Grossmont College, a community college in California, in 2015.

More coaching carousel happenings took place on Monday. Here’s the latest:

  • The Lions will move George Godsey to the side of the ball with which he’s most familiar, shifting him from a defensive assistant/special projects to their quarterbacks coach, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. OC for the Texans from 2015-16, Godsey will replace Brian Callahan — whom the Lions let go last week. While the rest of the defensive staff Godsey was working with was dismissed as Matt Patricia is slated to take over, the team will be making an exception by transitioning Godsey — who worked with the Patriots as an offensive assistant (2011) and tight ends coach (2012-13) during Patricia’s stay in New England — back to offense.
  • In addition, the Lions added former coordinators Jeff Davidson to coach their offensive line and Brian Stewart to head up their secondary, Marvez reports. A former Panthers OC and five-year Vikings offensive line boss, Davidson will coach a third O-line in the past three seasons after leading the Chargers’ group in 2016 and the Broncos’ front last season. Stewart, the Cowboys’ DC from 2007-08 under Wade Phillips, will leave his post as Rice’s DC to jump back to the NFL. Coaching at Houston, Nebraska and Rice during the 2010s, Stewart hasn’t coached in the NFL since that ’08 season in Dallas.
  • An NFL defensive line coach for the past 20 seasons, Mike Waufle will retire after spending the 2017 campaign with the Bills, he told the Evening Tribune (N.Y.). Position coach of the famed 2007 Giants’ Super Bowl champion defensive front, Waufle said various injuries have him in constant pain and will induce a retirement — one he informed Sean McDermott of shortly after Buffalo’s first-round loss in Jacksonville. As a result, the Bills will bring on Bill Teerlinck as their D-line coach, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. Teerlinck spent last season as Waufle’s assistant. Teerlinck’s assistant DL coach will be Aaron Whitecotton, who spent 2017 as an assistant to McDermott.
  • The Chiefs announced a slew of hirings and transitions. Most notably, Gary Gibbs will no longer serve as Kansas City’s linebackers coach. Gibbs served on staff for nine seasons, hired as part of Todd Haley‘s first group. The Chiefs will divvy up Gibbs’ responsibilities by placing previous assistant defensive line coach Mike Smith in charge of the outside linebackers and previous assistant linebackers coach Mark DeLeone in command of the inside ‘backers. Corey Matthaei is now K.C.’s assistant O-line coach, while Joe Bleymaier will become assistant quarterbacks coach under new QBs instructor Mike Kafka. Terry Bradden and David Girardi will take quality control positions, on defense and offense, respectively.

Extra Points: 49ers, Pats, Cowboys, Jags

The latest from around the NFL as the countdown to a Super Bowl 50 matchup between the Panthers and Broncos begins:

  • After appearing in and starting in 71 games from 2010-14, 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis decided last June to take a hiatus from football, announcing that he’d “be back in a year or so.” Earlier this month, the 26-year-old added fuel to the fire when he tweeted an intention to return to the 49ers. However, Davis – who’s under 49ers control through 2019 – hasn’t yet set the wheels fully in motion on a comeback. “As of right now, I’ve got no notification from the league to say that he has [filed for reinstatement],” general manager Trent Baalke told 95.7 The Game, per CSNBayArea.com. “But that period is still open.”
  • In other 49ers news, they’ve hired Jeff Hafley to coach their defensive backs, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports (on Twitter). Hafley was in charge of Cleveland’s secondary the past two seasons.
  • The Patriots need to invest significant resources this offseason in the offensive line – whether through free agency, the draft or both – in order to keep Tom Brady playing at a high level, writes Christopher Price of WEEI.com. Given the beating Brady took Sunday in the Pats’ 20-18 AFC championship game loss in Denver, Price’s suggestion comes as no surprise. The Broncos hit Brady 20 times, four of which were sacks, and kept him under extreme duress throughout the game.
  • The Cowboys will need a new defensive backs coach to replace Jerome Henderson, who took a job in Atlanta. A successor to Henderson in Dallas is unlikely to come from within the organization, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer (via Twitter). That runs contrary to Ian Rapoport’s declaration (via Twitter) earlier Sunday that Cowboys safeties coach Jim Baker will take over for Henderson.
  • Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley has promoted three members of his staff, according to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union: Tony Sorrentino has gone from offensive quality control coach to assistant receivers coach; Aaron Whitecotton, who was assistant to the defense, is now the assistant D-line coach; and Mike Rutenberg has shifted from assistant defensive backs coach to defensive assistant.