The Bengals and Jack Del Rio have been discussing the team’s defensive coordinator position, but it sounds like the two sides won’t be joining up, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). After further conversation, the two sides determined that it’s not a “perfect fit,” which indicates that JDR will not be the hire in Cincinnati.
Del Rio was believed to be the Bengals’ top choice for DC, but both sides had reservations, according to Rapoport. Most of the team’s key staff is in place – Bill Callahan will be the OC and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons is staying put – but they’re putting a pin in the DC position for now.
As Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) notes, Del Rio is still getting paid by the Raiders for another two years, so he can afford to wait for the right job. His contract may or may not include offset language, which could be a factor in his decision.
Del Rio, 55, was either a head coach or defensive coordinator every season from 2002-17. Following his 2002 season as John Fox‘s DC in Carolina, Jacksonville hired Del Rio as HC. He caught on with Fox again as the Broncos’ DC from 2012-14 before the Raiders hired him in 2015. While his Broncos defenses (two top-five units) were better than his Raiders crews — 22nd, 20th and 20th in points allowed, respectively — Del Rio did guide the Silver and Black to their first playoff berth in 14 seasons.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.