Josh McDaniels

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

Raiders, Chandler Jones Agree To Deal

The Raiders will land one of the top players on this year’s market. They have agreed to terms with Chandler Jones, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The sides agreed to a three-year deal worth $52.5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, adding that the deal includes $34MM guaranteed.

This will reunite the former All-Pro with Josh McDaniels and Patrick Graham, who were both in New England during the first chapter of Jones’ career. After breaking through to the All-Pro level in Arizona, Jones will relocate to Las Vegas and join Maxx Crosby atop their edge-rushing stable.

For barely a minute, a Raiders reality with Crosby, Jones and Yannick Ngakoue existed. But the team is trading Ngakoue to the Colts. This will clear out some money for a Raiders squad that now has a Pro Bowl edge partnership. Jones bounced back after a biceps injury halted his 2020 season early; he registered 10.5 sacks in his sixth Cardinals season. Cards owner Michael Bidwill expressed a desire to re-sign Jones, who then tweeted laughing emojis after the owner’s comments. Unsurprisingly, the Cards were not closely connected with Jones during the legal tampering period.

Jones, 32, began the 2021 season as a disgruntled Cardinal, having requested a trade after voicing frustration about his contract. Several pass rushers had surpassed Jones’ 2017 extension — a $16.5MM-per-year pact — but he played out the deal. Jones is not exactly leaving the desert, with the Raiders now in Las Vegas, but his Cardinals chapter is over. He has agreed to similar terms with the Raiders. Jones appears to have missed his window to land a $20MM-plus-year-year accord, but he has still done quite well for himself during his prime.

The Raiders recently gave Crosby a $23.5MM-per-year extension. They are now fully loaded at the edge spot. Jones led the NFL with 17 sacks in 2017 — a year after the Patriots dealt him to Arizona — and posted a 19-sack slate in 2019. Making Pro Bowls with both the Pats and Cards, Jones will attempt to aid the Raiders in an AFC West suddenly flush with pass rushers. Jones, Khalil Mack and Randy Gregory are each with AFC West teams now, creating a division stacked at both quarterback and players paid to pursue QBs.

Raiders’ Dave Ziegler To Control Roster

Josh McDaniels is the biggest name heading to Las Vegas this offseason, but his former New England coworker will be the one in charge. Dave Ziegler will control the Raiders’ roster, according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin.

A GM controlling a team’s roster is not particularly unusual, though a few head coaches still have final say. It is notable here, given the Raiders’ recent past and McDaniels’ history in such a role.

Mark Davis gave Jon Gruden such power, and the team made repeated missteps in the draft and in free agency. Although the Raiders also had some success, their big-ticket moves mostly bombed under Gruden. McDaniels assumed such control when he replaced Mike Shanahan in Denver in 2009. McDaniels’ feud with Jay Cutler preceded a controversial trade, one that soon left the Broncos with Kyle Orton as their starting quarterback. A year later, the Broncos traded three picks to move up for Tim Tebow in the first round. While McDaniels also experienced some success, via the 2010 draft choices of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, he is largely remembered for personnel failures — among other shortcomings — during his first try as a head coach.

Ziegler began his career as an NFL exec under McDaniels in Denver stay but spent the past nine years in New England. He climbed the ladder with the Patriots last year, finishing his run as the team’s assistant director of player personnel. The Pats gave Ziegler a raise after Nick Caserio‘s 2021 departure.

Ziegler’s GM interview led McDaniels to Vegas, per Volin, who adds the owner did not know McDaniels was interested in the team’s HC job. Ziegler replied that McDaniels would follow him to Nevada. This will be McDaniels’ first HC opportunity (other than the Colts gig he turned down) since the Broncos fired him late in the 2010 season. The Ziegler-McDaniels duo will now attempt to establish long-term success without Bill Belichick‘s guidance.

QB Carr’s Future In Vegas Secure

Quarterback Derek Carr‘s future with the Raiders has been hot and cold for quite a while now, but, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the new leadership in Las Vegas is prepared to show their commitment to the eighth-year veteran with a contract extension. 

Just before the start of February, the Raiders announced the hirings of two former New England employees. They were taking the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, to fill the role of head coach and the Patriots’ director of player personnel, Dave Ziegler, to fill the role of general manager. Both McDaniels and Ziegler had shown interest in trading for Carr during their time in New England.

Since the departures of former head coach Jon Gruden and former general manager Mike Mayock, Carr has been unsure of his future, claiming that his status could be impacted by the team’s hires. Carr’s top choice to replace Gruden was, in fact, McDaniels. The mutual support and respect is something that Carr has not had the luxury of enjoying throughout his eight years with the organization.

Joel Corry, who writes for CBS Sports on NFL contracts and salary caps, tweeted out some ideas of what an extension may look like for Carr. Back in 2017, Carr became the first player in the NFL to average $25MM per annum. Even while breaking that barrier, Carr claimed at the time that he was leaving money in the cap for deals with guard Gabe Jackson and outside linebacker Khalil Mack. Corry and Rapoport both posit that Carr has earned near-top-tier money that could make him the fourth quarterback to join the $40MM per year club, joining the likes Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Dak Prescott.

The Raiders have some time to figure out a deal with Carr, as he’s under contract through next season. They may attempt to make a show of good faith and offer an extension before the start of his contract year, or, with relations between leadership and the quarterback being much healthier, they may be able to take some time to figure out the best deal for both sides. Regardless, it is certainly an improved situation for everyone involved, and the Raiders will hope to reap the benefits.

2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Last year, seven NFL teams opted to make a head coaching change. Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints created nine full-time vacancies available this year.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 2-7-22 (1:45pm CT)

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Josh McDaniels To Call Raiders’ Plays

On Sunday, the Raiders found their new head coach in Josh McDaniels along with their next GM in Dave Ziegler. There will be more changes on the way, but regardless of who is installed as offensive coordinator, McDaniels will be the one calling plays (Twitter link via Vincent Bonsignore of the Review Journal). 

[RELATED: Raiders To Hire Josh McDaniels As HC, Dave Ziegler As GM]

This doesn’t come as a huge surprise given McDaniels’ background and offensive acumen. Sean McVay took a similar approach with the Rams, opting to call the plays in L.A. despite the presence of Kevin O’Connell.

McDaniels, 45, enjoyed success across two separate stints as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, both with and without Tom Brady under center. In 2021, he guided rookie quarterback Mac Jones as the Pats reached the playoffs and finished sixth in overall scoring. He’ll now look to fix the Raiders and lead them to their first playoff win since the 2002 postseason.

The Raiders made the hiring of Ziegler official earlier today, though they’ve yet to officially announce the hiring of McDaniels.

Raiders Hire Dave Ziegler As GM, Josh McDaniels Expected As HC

The Raiders have announced the hiring of Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler as their new general manager. That means that the official hiring of Patriots OC Josh McDaniels as head coach is right around the corner, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).

Though McDaniels was a late entrant in this year’s coaching cycle — his only interview, which just took place yesterday, was with the Raiders — he became the frontrunner for the position as soon as he was connected to it. Indeed, he reportedly told the team that he would not accept its interview request unless he was going to be offered the job.

Now 45, McDaniels is best known for his lengthy and tremendously successful run as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, first from 2005-2008 and then again from 2012-2021. Of course, he had the privilege of working with QB Tom Brady for almost all of that time, but the work that he did with rookie passer Mac Jones this year also earned him plenty of positive attention. His ill-fated tenure as Broncos head coach from 2009-10 is well in the rearview mirror at this point, and his leaving the Colts at the altar in the 2018 hiring cycle did not seem to deter other clubs from wanting to bring his talents as an offensive guru aboard (though it is worth keeping that jilting in mind until he puts pen to paper).

Assuming he does finalize a deal with Las Vegas, he will inherit QB Derek Carr, who has one year remaining on his current contract. We recently heard that the Raiders’ HC hire would impact Carr’s future in the silver-and-black, but as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets, there is “mutual admiration” between Carr and McDaniels, so it could be that an extension for the soon-to-be 31-year-old passer is in the offing.

Obviously, Ziegler will have some say in that. In his previous post with the Patriots, he revamped the team’s scouting department and free agency strategy, as Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com (on Twitter) notes, and he has received a considerable amount of credit for New England’s quick rise back to competitiveness after a disappointing 2020, the first year of the post-Brady era. His philosophy differed from predecessor Nick Caserio and will likely stray from recently-deposed Raiders GM Mike Mayock‘s approach.

Ziegler and McDaniels first worked together with the Broncos in 2010, and the former joined the Pats’ scouting department in 2013 and gradually rose up the ranks (2021 was his first as director of player personnel, a promotion he received after Caserio left Foxborough to become the Texans’ GM). Ziegler has been viewed as McDaniels’ GM-of-choice for awhile now, and it appears that the partnership will soon make its way west.

Bucs To Start Post-Brady Rebuild?

With three-time MVP quarterback Tom Brady announcing his retirement earlier today, speculation has already started on the future of the Buccaneers’ franchise. Brady’s retirement has experts wondering about the futures of tight end Rob Gronkowki and head coach Bruce Arians. Both have flirted with retirement before. 

Contributing to the postulation on Arians’ situation is head coaching interest in the Buccaneers’ coordinators on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich recently had his second interview for the Jaguars open coaching position. Reportedly, talks have stalled as Leftwich has expressed issues with current general manager Trent Baalke continuing in that position, with Leftwich preferring Cardinals’ vice president of pro scouting Adrian Wilson to replace the polarizing GM. The Saints have requested an interview with Leftwich, who previously received interest from the Bears before they hired Matt Eberflus. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has interviewed with the Bears, Jaguars, Raiders, and Vikings. With the Bears’ job taken, Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels being the presumed frontrunner in Las Vegas, and Jacksonville having conducted multiple second interviews Bowles’ opportunities for a head coaching job are starting to dwindle, as well.

More cause for speculation has risen from an article from Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. In the article Wilson reports that Arians has informed the entire coaching staff that they have permission to seek jobs around the league regardless of whether or not the new position would be a promotion. With the potential exit of the two New England-legends and the impactful group of Buccaneers heading into free agency, this permission could potentially be an opportunity to abandon ship before the start of a Tampa Bay rebuild.

In terms of those free agents, joining free-agent-to-be Gronkowski are three other significant role players: wide receiver Chris Godwin, center Ryan Jensen, and cornerback Carlton Davis. Godwin is expected to be the top free agent priority in Tampa Bay after he received the franchise tag for this past season. Jensen came over three years ago from the Ravens on what then made him the highest paid center in the NFL. Davis was a key contributor due for a big contract year on defense before being placed on IR after Week 4 of the season and missing eight weeks during a crucial year.

The domino-effect of Brady’s retirement is already looming large over the Buccaneers’ prospects for the 2022 NFL season. Tampa Bay has the entire offseason to navigate these obstacles and mitigate the potential fallout. After winning a Super Bowl just last year, the departure of Brady could be as game-changing to the Buccaneers as his arrival was nearly two years ago.

Raiders Moving Towards Hiring Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler

It appears the next team to make their hire on both the head coach and general manger front will be the Raiders. According to Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson, the team is “all-in” on hiring Josh McDaniels as its new HC, and Dave Ziegler as GM. 

[Related: Raiders Request Josh McDaniels Interview]

Wilson reports that the two are expected to be hired “within the next few days”. One of the more notable aspects of this year’s hiring cycle is the fact that McDaniels hasn’t been included with any teams’ respective HC searches, until the Raiders formally requested to speak with him yesterday. On that point, Wilson adds, “McDaniels informed the Raiders that he wouldn’t accept their interview request unless he was being offered the job”.

Meanwhile, in an appearance on NBC Sports Boston, Albert Breer corroborated the growing sense that the longtime Patriots OC will be heading to Vegas. He said, “I think Josh has been vetting the Raiders, I think the Raiders have been vetting Josh, and I think this is the conclusion of it”. He added, “I’m not saying it’s all over… but the fact that they’ve gotten to this point tells me things are pretty far along”.

Throughout the process of the Raiders’ search, there have been reports that McDaniels and Ziegler could be a package deal, if owner Mark Davis chose to go that route and was willing to pay a premium for the former in particular – something which isn’t expected to be an issue. Their working relationship goes back to their days in Denver, when McDaniels hired Ziegler to be a scout. Now the director of player personnel with the Patriots, Ziegler looks poised to have a reunion with his friend, and take a coveted position in a new city and stadium overseeing a 2021 playoff team.

Raiders Request Josh McDaniels Interview

The only team connected to Josh McDaniels during this year’s HC hiring period, the Raiders are interested in speaking with the longtime Patriots offensive coordinator.

They sent McDaniels an interview request Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Raiders already interviewed Patriots exec Dave Ziegler, who also worked with McDaniels in Denver, and appear to still be considering a Patriots West ticket. McDaniels, who has been on Mark Davis‘ radar for weeks, is expected to interview Saturday, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter links).

While a Wednesday report indicated the Raiders were moving away from a Ziegler-McDaniels pairing, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets league buzz still points to McDaniels being a preferred option in Las Vegas. This would certainly be an interesting direction to go, given McDaniels’ past and Raider players’ endorsements for interim HC Rich Bisaccia to keep the job. That said, one source informed Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio a Ziegler-McDaniels power structure in Vegas is “just about a sure thing.” McDaniels has been down a similar road before, only to turn back at the last minute.

But McDaniels does have an extensive OC resume, collecting three Super Bowl rings during his time working with Tom Brady in New England. Of course, his rough tenure as Broncos HC and decision to spurn the Colts affected his standing within the league. In terms of high-level experience, however, almost no one in this cycle can match McDaniels.

In his 10th year back in charge of the Patriots’ offense, McDaniels helped the fifth quarterback picked in last year’s draft — Mac Jones — have the best season among the 2021 rookie QBs. Despite his controversial Colts decision four years ago, the 45-year-old assistant comes up in coaching rumors annually. The two-time Patriots OC has been picky on the interview front, and given his Denver tenure and Indianapolis decision, his next HC job might be his last.

Here is how the Raiders’ HC search is shaping up thus far: