Jim Mora

Sunday Roundup: Mallett, Trades, Guion

Ryan Mallett missed the Texans‘ team charter to Miami Saturday and had to make the trip via commercial airline, per Karen Warren of The Houston Chronicle. Mallett is in uniform and will be the team’s No. 2 quarterback today, as expected–the Texans do not have another quarterback on the roster–but he will certainly be fined, and his future with the club has never been more in doubt. Mallett, who also missed a training camp practice this year–he said his cell phone battery died, so his cell phone alarm would not go off–is due $2.5MM in 2016, the second year of his two-year contract, but Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle believes the team will cut ties with Mallett after the 2015 season (Twitter link). If Tom Savage was not on injured reserve, Warren says it would not be a surprise if Mallett was cut today.

Now for some more links from around the league:

  • The BearsMatt Forte, the 49ersVernon Davis, and the FalconsRoddy White have been the biggest names included in this year’s trade rumors, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (article via Kevin Patra of NFL.com) does not believe any of the three will be traded, and he sets forth his rationale for why each will stay with their current clubs for the remainder of 2015.
  • According to Rapoport (via Twitter), there are three notable college coaches who would be open to an NFL head coaching job after this season: UCLA’s Jim Mora, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin. In a separate tweet, Rapoport notes that NFL GMs believe Kelly would be an especially good fit with the Giants, if Big Blue has a head coaching vacancy after 2015.
  • Earlier this year, Johnny Manziel was saying and doing all the right things, and he had earned considerable praise for his on- and off-field behavior and for apparently turning his life around. But after an alcohol-related incident that culminated in an encounter with police several weeks ago–an incident for which he will not be facing any charges–questions about his future in the league have resurfaced. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Browns officials had been bracing for some sort of negative publicity, as Manziel’s demeanor and dedication had taken a turn for the worse after Josh McCown returned from injury to reclaim the starting quarterback job from Manziel, who led the club for one week. Some within the organization have been hoping to part ways with Manziel for some time, and this latest development will give that contingent a little more ammunition, as they have further proof that Manziel is not a team-first type of player.
  • Packers DT Letroy Guion‘s recent legal troubles have been well-documented, but according to Michael Cohen and John Diedrich of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Guion has faced domestic violence charges as well, which had previously gone unreported. In two of the three cases brought against Guion, the charges were dropped, and in the third, Guion paid restitution to avoid additional penalties. He has been accused of stalking and of hitting the mother of his child in the jaw. Those incidents occurred from 2011 to 2013 when Guion was with the Vikings, and if it turns out he never reported the charges to the club, he could face further discipline from the league.
  • The Bears are actively scouting college quarterbacks as they prepare for the post-Jay Cutler era, and Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune examines two potential targets, California’s Jared Goff and Michigan State’s Connor Cook, in detail.
  • Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post examines in detail how Broncos GM John Elway has methodically constructed Denver’s defense, which has been the league’s best in 2015.

Coach Notes: Jets, Ryan, McDaniels, 49ers

Not long after he was fired by the Jets, Rex Ryan jumped on a plane to Florida to watch his son’s Clemson Tigers play in the Russell Athletic Bowl, as Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post writes. When asked what it was like to speak with his players for the final time, Ryan said, “It was rough, man. But hey, that’s the way it is.’’ With a vacancy in New York and others elsewhere, here’s a look at the latest coaching rumors..

  • Charley Casserly, who is now consulting the Jets, inquired about UCLA head coach Jim Mora‘s buyout clause and contract language last week, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter).
  • Former Jets coach Rex Ryan has interviews scheduled with the Falcons and 49ers for their openings, a source tells Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter).
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will interview with the Falcons and 49ers this week, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
  • The 49ers will interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn tonight, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • There may not be a head coaching candidate more sought after this offseason than Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles — according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter), every team with a head coaching vacancy has contacted the Cards about interviewing Bowles. That includes the Raiders and Bears, which hadn’t been previously reported. Since Arizona plays in the Wild Card round, Bowles won’t be able to interview with any teams until next week.
  • The Bears are the third team to request permission to speak to Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The Falcons and 49ers had previously asked to interview Gase, who can talk to clubs during Denver’s bye week.
  • The Titans‘ and Jaguars‘ coaching staffs will participate in the Senior Bowl game, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). The 2-14 Buccaneers passed on the opportunity, and Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link) is curious about the team’s motives, considering the benefits of participating in the game. Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets that he heard last week from one Jaguars official that the Bucs may pass on the Senior Bowl because they’d be busy looking for an offensive coordinator — of course, as of today, the Jags are in the same boat.

Michigan Hires Jim Harbaugh

11:40am: ESPN’s Michele Steele provides a full breakdown of Harbaugh’s deal (via Twitter), which includes a number of potential incentives and bonuses.

11:13am: Officially announcing the hiring of Harbaugh at a press conference, Hackett confirmed that the former Niners coach signed a seven-year, $35MM contract (Twitter link via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com).

TUESDAY, 9:26am: According to John U. Bacon (Twitter links), Harbaugh’s salary with Michigan will be about $5MM a year plus incentives, which is a similar deal to the one he had with the Niners. Bacon says that Harbaugh told Michigan AD Jim Hackett he didn’t want to be the highest-paid coach in college football, and that he was more concerned about pay for his assistants.

Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reported earlier that the Raiders’ offer to Harbaugh was higher than Michigan’s, which makes more sense if Oakland just had to top $5MM or so, rather than approximately $8MM, as had been previously reported.

MONDAY, 7:22pm: The contract is signed, according to David Jesse and Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press.

9:30am: As expected, Jim Harbaugh will be the next head coach at the University of Michigan, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who says the school has told its biggest boosters that a deal with Harbaugh is done and that a news conference is scheduled for Tuesday. Albert Breer of the NFL Network also confirms (via Twitter) that the agreement between Harbaugh and Michigan is done, as had been suggested this weekend by reporters such as John U. Bacon, Dave Feldman of CSNBayArea.com, Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports.

While details on Harbaugh’s new contract with the Wolverines aren’t currently known, a report earlier in December indicated that Michigan was willing to pay $48MM for six years. Breer reported this morning that the deal could ultimately get up to $9MM per year, since there was some “quiet bidding” over the weekend.

While Harbaugh’s departure from San Francisco had been anticipated for some time, he never recorded a losing season with the Niners, compiling a 44-19-1 record in his four seasons with the team. He’ll look to bring some of that success, which included three appearances in the NFC championship game and a loss in the Super Bowl, to a Wolverines team that had a disappointing 2014 season under former head coach Brady Hoke.

The Raiders were among the NFL teams with interest in Harbaugh, and Mike Silver of the NFL Network suggested today (Twitter link) that Oakland owner Mark Davis planned to speak to Harbaugh this morning. There was a belief that the former Niners coach preferred to remain in the NFL, but even with a handful of head coaching jobs opening up today, it appears he couldn’t resist the allure of returning to Michigan, particularly on a deal that makes him the highest-paid coach in NCAA history.

As for the Niners, who agreed to part ways with Harbaugh, Peter King of TheMMQB.com hears that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will be interviewed, and that GM Trent Baalke may have interest in UCLA coach Jim Mora. Additionally, multiple sources have informed Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) that Mike Shanahan could be a candidate for the San Francisco job. For now, Baalke is set to meet with the team’s assistant coaches to help clarify their futures, per Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Bears, Giants, Eagles

Once Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers inevitably part ways at some point this week, the club will need to begin its search to find his replacement as head coach. Appearing on FOX Sports, Jay Glazer (Twitter link via his colleague, Mike Garafolo) listed several candidates that San Francisco will likely interview: Dan Quinn, Todd Bowles, Jim Tomsula, Teryl Austin, Adam Gase, Josh McDaniels, Kyle Shanahan, and interestingly, UCLA head coach Jim Mora. Mora, who’s held head coaching positions with both the Falcons and Seahawks, was also mentioned as an NCAA coach likely to jump to the NFL by Albert Breer of NFL.com on Daniel Jeremiah’s Move the Sticks podcast two weeks ago. Here’s more from the NFC…

  • Bears assistant coaches believe they will believe they will be fired after today’s game, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who notes that “wholesale changes” could be coming to Chicago. In the same vein, David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune examined what the future holds for the Bears, who are expected to fire head coach Marc Trestman and possibly GM Phil Emery.
  • Tom Coughlin hasn’t been made aware of his status for 2015, but the expectation is that he will return to coach the Giants next year, per Rapoport (Twitter link).
  • Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been unequivocal in explaining that he won’t give New York a deal when it a comes to negotiations, and today he offered an even stronger, and quotable, declaration of his feelings. “Do you give discounts?” he asked Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post (Twitter link). “Do you get discounts when you go to Macy’s?”
  • Eagles FB/TE James Casey is due $4MM next season, and Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter) doubts that he’ll return to Philly next season. Per Berman, Casey signed on with the Eagles in the hopes of getting extensive time on offense, but he’s become more of a special teams player.
  • 49ers linebacker Dan Skuta is a free agent at season’s end, and Cam Inman of the Mercury News believes (Twitter link) that he’ll follow current San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to his next stop.

Coaching Notes: Trestman, Bowles, Shanahan

We learned earlier today that Mike Smith was unlikely to return as coach of the Falcons in 2015, but there are plenty of head coaching candidates for whom the future appears much brighter, along with a number of others who are likely to be relieved of their duties or otherwise on the move. Let’s take a look:

  • As we passed along earlier, Bears head coach Marc Trestman is expected to be fired after the season.
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is a top head coaching candidate for the Jets and Bears, and the Dolphins have not ruled out a reunion with Bowles.
  • Although the University of Michigan apparently has a legitimate chance to land 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh as its next head coach, the Wolverines also have the RavensJohn Harbaugh, the SaintsSean Payton, the BillsDoug Marrone, and the CowboysJason Garrett on their radar, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Outside of Jim Harbaugh, however, the other named candidates are highly unlikely to appear in maize and blue next year.
  • In the same piece, La Canfora writes that Jim Harbaugh briefly accepted the Michigan job in 2011 before changing his mind shortly thereafter.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that UCLA’s Jim Mora and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn are two collegiate coaches whom NFL teams may consider for head coaching vacancies in 2015. Rapoport adds (Twitter links) that he would expect the 49ers to have interest in Mora and the Dolphins to have interest in Malzahn.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that Mike Shanahan has not ruled out a return to coaching in 2015, and Florio lists the Falcons and 49ers as possible destinations. However, Shanahan, who was responsible for drafting Jay Cutler, maintains his belief that Cutler is a franchise quarterback, and the Bears (assuming they hang on to Cutler) may want to pursue Shanahan.