Shane Waldron

Assessing NFL’s OC Landscape

This offseason showed the turnover that can take place at the offensive coordinator position. As a result of several decisions in January and February, the NFL no longer has an OC who has been in his current role for more than two seasons. Various firings and defections now have the 2022 batch of hires stationed as the longest-tenured OCs.

One of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, Pete Carmichael is no longer with the Saints. The team moved on after 15 seasons, a stay that featured part-time play-calling duties. The Browns canned their four-year non-play-calling OC, Alex Van Pelt, while three-year play-callers Arthur Smith and Shane Waldron are relocating this winter. Brian Callahan‘s five-year gig as the Bengals’ non-play-calling OC booked him a top job.

The recent lean toward offense-oriented HCs took a bit of a hit of a hit this offseason, with five of the eight jobs going to defense-oriented leaders. Callahan, Dave Canales and Jim Harbaugh were the only offense-geared candidates hired during this cycle. But half the NFL will go into this season with a new OC. Following the Seahawks’ decision to hire ex-Washington (and, briefly, Alabama) staffer Ryan Grubb, here is how the NFL’s OC landscape looks:

2022 OC hires

  • Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions*
  • Mike Kafka, New York Giants*
  • Wes Phillips, Minnesota Vikings
  • Frank Smith, Miami Dolphins
  • Adam Stenavich, Green Bay Packers
  • Press Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars*

Although this sextet now comprises the senior wing of offensive coordinators, this still marks each’s first gig as an NFL OC. Three of the six received HC interest this offseason.

Johnson’s status back in Detroit has been one of the offseason’s top storylines and a development the Commanders have not taken especially well. The two-year Lions OC was viewed as the frontrunner for the Washington job for weeks this offseason, and when team brass did not receive word about Johnson’s intent to stay in Detroit (thus, waiting until at least 2025 to make his long-expected HC move) until a Commanders contingent was en route to Detroit for a second interview, a back-and-forth about what exactly broke down took place. Johnson should be expected to remain a high-end HC candidate next year, but Dan Campbell will still have his services for 2024.

Kafka interviewed for the Seahawks’ HC job, and the Giants then blocked him from meeting with the NFC West team about its OC position. Rumblings about Kafka and Brian Daboll no longer being on great terms surfaced this year, with the latter yanking away play-calling duties — given to Kafka ahead of the 2022 season — at points in 2023. Taylor may also be on the hot seat with his team. Doug Pederson gave Taylor the call sheet last season, and Trevor Lawrence did not make the leap many expected. After a collapse left the Jaguars out of the playoffs, the team had begun to look into its offensive situation.

2023 OC hires

  • Jim Bob Cooter, Indianapolis Colts
  • Nathaniel Hackett, New York Jets*
  • Mike LaFleur, Los Angeles Rams
  • Joe Lombardi, Denver Broncos
  • Todd Monken, Baltimore Ravens*
  • Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Drew Petzing, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Brian Schottenheimer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans*

Only nine of the 15 OCs hired in 2023 are still with their teams. One (Canales) moved up the ladder, while others were shown the door following that organization canning its head coach. The Eagles were the only team who hired an offensive coordinator last year to fire that staffer (Brian Johnson) after one season. Nick Sirianni fired both his coordinators following a wildly disappointing conclusion.

Hackett may also be drifting into deep water, given what transpired last year in New York. Rumblings of Robert Saleh — who is on the hottest seat among HCs — stripping some of his offensive play-caller’s responsibilities surfaced recently. This marks Hackett’s fourth chance to call plays in the NFL; the second-generation staffer did so for the Bills, Jaguars and Broncos prior to coming to New York. After the 2022 Broncos ranked last in scoring, the ’23 Jets ranked 31st in total offense. Hackett’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers has largely kept him in place, but 2024 may represent a last chance for the embattled coach.

Of this crop, Monken and Slowik were the only ones to receive HC interest. Neither emerged as a frontrunner for a position, though Slowik met with the Commanders twice. The Texans then gave their first-time play-caller a raise to stick around for C.J. Stroud‘s second season. Stroud’s remarkable progress figures to keep Slowik on the HC radar. Monken, who is in his third try as an NFL OC (after gigs in Tampa and Cleveland), just helped Lamar Jackson to his second MVP award. The former national championship-winning OC did not stick the landing — as Jackson struggled against the Chiefs — but he fared well on the whole last season.

Schottenheimer is on his fourth go-round as an OC, while Lombardi is on team No. 3. The latter’s job figures to be more secure, being tied to Sean Payton, compared to what is transpiring in Dallas. With the Cowboys having Mike McCarthy as the rare lame-duck HC, his coordinators probably should not get too comfortable.

2024 OC hires

  • Joe Brady, Buffalo Bills*
  • Liam Coen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
  • Ken Dorsey, Cleveland Browns
  • Luke Getsy, Las Vegas Raiders*
  • Ryan Grubb, Seattle Seahawks*
  • Nick Holz, Tennessee Titans
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Washington Commanders*
  • Klint Kubiak, New Orleans Saints*
  • Brad Idzik, Carolina Panthers
  • Kellen Moore, Philadelphia Eagles*
  • Dan Pitcher, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Zac Robinson, Atlanta Falcons*
  • Greg Roman, Los Angeles Chargers*
  • Arthur Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers*
  • Alex Van Pelt, New England Patriots*
  • Shane Waldron, Chicago Bears*

The 49ers do not employ a traditional OC; 16 of the 31 teams that do recently made a change. Most of the teams to add OCs this year, however, did so without employing play-calling coaches. This naturally raises the stakes for this year’s batch of hires.

Retreads became rather popular. Dorsey, Getsy, Moore, Van Pelt and Waldron were all OCs elsewhere (Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle) last season. Smith will shift from calling the Falcons’ plays to running the show for the Steelers. Dorsey, Getsy and Van Pelt were fired; Moore and Waldron moved on after the Chargers and Seahawks respectively changed HCs. Moore and Smith will be calling plays for a third team; for Moore, this is three OC jobs in three years.

Coen, Kingsbury and Roman are back after a year away. Kingsbury became a popular name on the OC carousel, having coached Caleb Williams last season. This will be his second crack at an NFL play-calling gig, having been the Cardinals’ conductor throughout his HC tenure. This will be Coen’s first shot at calling plays in the pros; he was Sean McVay‘s non-play-calling assistant in 2022. Likely to become the Chargers’ play-caller, Roman will have a rare fourth chance to call plays in the NFL. He held that responsibility under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco; following Harbaugh’s explosive 2015 49ers split, Roman moved to Buffalo and Baltimore to work under non-offense-oriented leaders.

Grubb, Holz, Idzik, Pitcher and Robinson represent this year’s first-timer contingent. Grubb has, however, called plays at the college level. Robinson is the latest McVay staffer to move into a play-calling post; he was a Rams assistant for five years. A host of teams had Robinson on their OC radar, but Raheem Morris brought his former L.A. coworker to Atlanta. Pitcher appeared in a few searches as well, but the Bengals made the expected move — after extending him last year — to give him Callahan’s old job.

* = denotes play-calling coordinator

2024 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

The offensive and defensive coordinator carousels are in winding down. Here is how the OC and DC searches look:

Updated 2-14-24 (5:50pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dave Ragone)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Ken Dorsey)

  • Joe Brady, interim offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (Bills): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed

Carolina Panthers (Out: Thomas Brown)

  • Marcus Brady, senior offensive assistant (Eagles): Interview requested
  • Brad Idzik, wide receivers coach (Buccaneers): Hired

Chicago Bears (Out: Luke Getsy)

Cincinnati Bengals (Out: Brian Callahan)

  • Andy Dickerson, offensive line coach (Seahawks): To interview
  • Dan Pitcher, quarterbacks coach (Bengals): Promoted

Cleveland Browns (Out: Alex Van Pelt)

Las Vegas Raiders (Out: Mick Lombardi)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Kellen Moore)

New England Patriots (Out: Bill O’Brien)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Pete Carmichael)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Brian Johnson)

  • Jerrod Johnson, quarterbacks coach (Texans): Interviewed
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Interviewed 1/23
  • Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator (Chargers): Hired

Pittsburgh Steelers (Out: Matt Canada)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Shane Waldron)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Dave Canales)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Tim Kelly)

  • Nick Holz, passing game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Thad Lewis, quarterbacks coach (Buccaneers): Interviewed
  • Eric Studesville, associate head coach/running backs coach (Dolphins): Interview requested

Washington Commanders (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Chip Kelly, former head coach (Eagles/49ers): On team’s radar
  • Kliff Kingsbury, senior offensive analyst (USC): Hired

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Ryan Nielsen)

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Mike Macdonald)

  • Zach Orr, inside linebackers coach (Ravens): Promoted

Buffalo Bills

  • Bobby Babich, linebackers coach (Bills): Promoted
  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Sean Desai, former defensive coordinator (Eagles): To interview

Chicago Bears (Out: Alan Williams)

  • Joe Barry, former defensive coordinator (Packers): To interview 1/27
  • Chris Harris, secondary coach (Titans): To interview
  • Eric Washington, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Bills): Hired
  • Terrell Williams, assistant head coach/defensive line coach (Titans): To interview

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Dan Quinn)

Green Bay Packers (Out: Joe Barry)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Out: Mike Caldwell)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Derrick Ansley)

  • Jesse Minter, defensive coordinator (Michigan): Hired

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Raheem Morris)

Miami Dolphins (Out: Vic Fangio)

New England Patriots

  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Promoted
  • Michael Hodges, linebackers coach (Saints): To interview
  • Tem Lukabu, outside linebackers coach (Panthers): To interview
  • Christian Parker, defensive backs coach (Broncos): Interviewed

New York Giants (Out: Don Martindale)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Sean Desai)

  • Mike Caldwell, former defensive coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed
  • Vic Fangio, former defensive coordinator (Dolphins): Hired
  • Ron Rivera, former head coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/22

San Francisco 49ers (Out: Steve Wilks)

Seattle Seahawks (Out: Clint Hurtt)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Shane Bowen)

  • Brandon Lynch, cornerbacks coach (Browns): Interviewed 1/30
  • Dennard Wilson, defensive backs coach (Ravens): Hired

Washington Commanders (Out: Jack Del Rio)

  • Joe Cullen, defensive line coach (Chiefs): Considered a candidate
  • Joe Whitt, defensive backs coach (Cowboys): Hired

Patriots, Saints Interviewed Shane Waldron; Bears OC Moving To Assemble Staff

The Bears decided on Shane Waldron as their offensive coordinator Monday and announced the hire today. Chicago’s move came after Waldron generated extensive interest elsewhere.

Three other teams pursued Waldron or were planning to do so. The Saints and Patriots met with the three-year Seahawks OC prior to his Bears commitment, according to NewOrleans.football’s Nick Underhill and SI.com’s Albert Breer. Additionally, Waldron appeared on the Raiders‘ OC radar, per Breer. The Saints requested a Waldron interview last week, and he took the meeting.

[RELATED: Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

While it is not known how serious of a candidate Waldron was with New England or New Orleans, Chicago landing him is interesting. The Bears are giving the former Seahawks play-caller an immediate second chance, and they will do so amid an uncertain point on their timeline. Waldron would appear set to mentor either Justin Fields or Caleb Williams, with the Bears having the chance to either make a No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1947 or trade it for a second straight year. Taking a job under these circumstances is interesting, and it is worth wondering what intel was shared in Bears OC meetings.

Regardless, Waldron is replacing Luke Getsy as Chicago’s play-caller. He will do so for a coach who will enter the season on a hot seat. Matt Eberflus staved off a firing, but Waldron is joining a Bears team that had been linked to considering a change after two seasons. The Saints bring a similar setup, with Dennis Allen staying in place despite two sub-.500 seasons. The Patriots join the Saints in continuing to look for a play-caller; Bill O’Brien left to become Ohio State’s OC.

The Patriots and Saints have each met with Rams QBs coach Zac Robinson and Bengals QBs coach Dan Pitcher. Both are on the Raiders’ radar as well. After the Seahawks managed to stay afloat despite trading the best quarterback in franchise history (Russell Wilson), teams were naturally interested in meeting a meeting with Waldron, who is yet another former Sean McVay assistant to move up the ladder.

Waldron is moving to fill some positions on the Bears’ offensive staff. He is arranging interviews with Chad Morton, Sanjay Lal and Kerry Joseph for Bears posts, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones notes. Morton has been with the Seahawks since 2014, most recently serving as the team’s run-game coordinator. Lal has already enjoyed two stints with the Seahawks in the 2020s, the most recent — 2022-23 — as wide receivers coach. Joseph has been Seattle’s assistant QBs coach throughout Waldron’s tenure. Looking for a new head coach for the first time since 2010, the Seahawks did not block Waldron from lateral moves and are letting their assistants explore jobs elsewhere.

Bears Hire Shane Waldron As OC

The Bears’ search for a new offensive coordinator is set to come to an end. Chicago is finalizing an agreement with Seahawks OC Shane Waldron, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Waldron was one of several staffers who interviewed for the position after Luke Getsy was fired. That move came as little surprise after Chicago failed to take a tangible step forward in the passing game this season. Improvement in that regard will be a top priority for Waldron, head coach Matt Eberflus and whichever quarterback the Bears make a commitment to for 2024 and beyond.

The Bears requested an interview with nine OC candidates, beginning with Waldron. The 44-year-old has served as Seattle’s play-caller for the past three seasons, and he drew praise for his work in the 2022 season in particular. Quarterback Geno Smith enjoyed a resurgent campaign that year, and he earned himself a new contract in the process. Smith and the Seahawks did not follow up as expected in 2023, however, ranking 17th in scoring and 21st in total offense en route to missing the postseason.

A step forward from those figures will be needed in the future to help Chicago return to postseason contention. The Bears showed signficant improvement on defense in the second half of the campaign, but they finished the season ranked just 27th in passing yards per game. That showing contrasts with the team’s second-place finish in rushing, and a better balance will need to be struck in either another year with Justin Fields at the helm or a rookie season for the top pick in April’s draft.

If the Bears do elect to move on from Fields and start over using the No. 1 selection, they will likely do so by adding Caleb Williams. For that reason, it was particularly notable when USC quarterbacks coach Kliff Kingsbury found himself on the Bears’ radar by receiving an interview request. Kingsbury and Williams worked together in 2023 with the Trojans, so adding them as a package deal this offseason would have come as little surprise. Williams may well find himself in Chicago soon, but it will be Waldron in charge of the offense if that happens.

The latter began his NFL coaching career in 2008 with the Patriots before spending time in the UFL and the college ranks. Waldron put himself on the coordinator radar during his four-year tenure with the Rams, which included three seasons as the team’s passing game coordinator. After a three-year run in Seattle, he will look to deliver more consistent results in Chicago.

As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes, the Bears attempted to speak with Chargers OC Kellen Moore for their vacancy, but they were blocked from doing so. Moore has spoken with Los Angeles about the team’s head coaching position, so it comes as little surprise an opportunity for a lateral move was denied. While Moore’s future remains in the air, Waldron’s is now clear as he prepares for a move to the Windy City.

Saints Request OC Interview With Seahawks’ Shane Waldron

A third candidate has emerged for the Saints’ OC vacancy. New Orleans has sent an interview request for Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports.

The Saints are in the market for an OC for the first time since 2009 after Pete Carmichael was fired yesterday. The team (which has competition for the top candidates) has moved quickly in looking for replacements. Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher as well as Rams assistant Zac Robinson received interview slips earlier today.

That pair will now be joined by Waldron, who has also drawn interest from the Bears. Chicago is looking for a Luke Getsy replacement, though that team’s offseason outlook will be driven in large part by the decision to retain or replace quarterback Justin Fields. New Orleans, by contrast, has a more stable situation under center in the form of Derek Carr. The longtime Raider did not enjoy the debut Saints campaign he or the team envisioned, though most of his statistics fell roughly in line with his career averages.

Taking a step forward on offense – and finding more consistency in the run game in particular – will be a key priority for the new Saints OC. Whomever the team hires in that capacity (which, unlike most of Carmichael’s tenure, will include play-calling duties) may very well have ties to Rams head coach Sean McVay. Just like Pitcher and Robinson, Waldron has a history with McVay dating back to his time in Washington and Los Angeles. Waldron spent four years with the Rams before taking Seattle’s offensive coordinator position in 2021.

The 44-year-old has delivered middling results in terms of total and scoring offense during his time in the Emerald City, but he has now drawn interview requests for a pair of lateral moves. Much is yet to be determined in Seattle with respect to the team’s coaching staff with Pete Carroll having been moved to an advisory role. His replacement is not in place, leaving assistants like Waldron free to at least explore other options. In addition to the Bears gig, that process will now include an interview regarding the Saints vacancy.

Bears Request Interview With Seahawks OC Shane Waldron For Lateral Move

With Pete Carroll no longer manning the head coaching role in Seattle, the Bears have decided to try and lure Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron into their newly vacated position of the same name. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Chicago has requested to interview Waldron for their offensive coordinator position.

Since Carroll is no longer holding the staff in Seattle together, the assistants are now available to seek another job. Most new head coaches in the NFL will prefer to choose their own offensive and defensive coordinators, who in turn prefer to work with their own assistants, thought head coaches can often impact the decision-making for assistant coaches, as well. That being said, the incumbent coordinators and assistant coaches in Seattle are in a precarious position, and Chicago is offering Waldron a chance at a more certain future.

Earlier today, the Bears opted to keep head coach Matt Eberflus but chose to gut the offensive side of the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko. It didn’t take long for general manager Ryan Poles, Eberflus, and company to act on Getsy and Janocko’s potential replacement. Reaching out to Waldron is technically offering him a lateral move, but considering that Waldron’s future is fairly insecure without a head coach in place in Seattle, taking the Chicago job would offer him much more short-term job security.

Now, Seattle’s search to replace Carroll has really yet to begin. As of this moment, only one name has even been rumored as a potential replacement, with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn getting that nod. There’s a chance that Waldron, after coaching the amazing comeback story of quarterback Geno Smith, could get an opportunity to stay in Seattle. There’s even a chance they consider him for head coach, though it would be the first time he’s been considered for a head coaching gig since 2018, when he received an interview request for the Bengals job that would eventually go to his coworker Zac Taylor.

With the development in Seattle being as fresh as it is, there’s lots left to determine. One of those things is the fate of Waldron. If the Seahawks have any desire of keeping him in Washington, they’ll need to act fast, as others in the NFL have already begun to lure him away.

NFC West Notes: Fitzgerald, Stafford, Everett

When the Cardinals signed A.J. Green last month, all eyes turned to Larry Fitzgerald and his place on the team. Although the legendary receiver hasn’t made his intentions known just yet, it appears he’s headed in the direction of hanging up his cleats. “Execs anticipate” that Fitzgerald, who is unsigned for 2021, is going to retire, Mike Sando of The Athletic writes. This stops short of being a full-on report, but it certainly sounds like that’s the way things are trending.

With Green now in the fold alongside the returning DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, the Cardinals’ receiving room would be pretty crowded if Fitz wanted to give it one last go. The surefire future Hall of Famer played in 13 games for Arizona last year, racking up 54 catches for 409 yards and a touchdown. It was easily the lowest output of his decorated 17-year career. We should know more soon, but unfortunately it seems likely we’ve seen the Pittsburgh product play his final down.

Here’s more from around the NFC West on a quiet Sunday afternoon:

  • Matthew Stafford was banged up a lot during his last season with the Lions, and he just had a procedure to address one of those lingering injuries. The new Rams quarterback had surgery on the thumb of his throwing hand last month, a source told Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. Fortunately, Rodrigue reports it was just a simple cleanup and Stafford isn’t expected to miss any real practice time. Stafford said back in February that he had partially torn the UCL in his right thumb. Despite dealing with a slew of significant health issues, he didn’t miss a start last season.
  • The Seahawks signed away tight end Gerald Everett from the Rams in free agency, and it turns out a prior poaching played a large role in that. Seattle hired former Rams passing game coordinator Shane Waldron to be their new OC after firing Brian Schottenheimer, and Waldron played a role in delivering Everett. “Shane is a mastermind,” Everett said, via John Boyle of the team’s official site. “He’s very creative, and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do in Seattle… When Shane went to Seattle, obviously the idea was there, it lingered in my head.” Everett was a second-round pick of Los Angeles in 2017, and although he never put up huge numbers in Rams offenses that had a lot of mouths to feed, he flashed a lot of potential. “Yes, he was a factor in my decision to come to Seattle,” Everett said of Waldron. The Seahawks gave him a one-year, $7MM deal in March.
  • In case you missed it, the 49ers are asking for a first-round pick in exchange for Jimmy Garoppolo.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Watt, 49ers

Following a season in which the Seahawks failed to reach the NFC championship game for a sixth straight year, Russell Wilson set about communicating his goals for what he views as the second half of his career with his camp. Those goals center around returning the Seahawks to a Super Bowl-caliber team. Wilson then brought those to Pete Carroll, per Albert Breer of SI.com, who notes the perennial Pro Bowl passer communicated he wants more say regarding the direction of the team.

Wilson also mentioned to Carroll he would like the Seahawks to make a genuine investment in a high-end offensive lineman, Breer adds. The Seahawks did trade for Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown in 2018, but he will turn 36 this year and is signed only through 2021. And they have not otherwise made big moves on their offensive front in recent years. Beyond guard Damien Lewis, the Seahawks could certainly use more help up front. One of Wilson’s goals — a new offensive philosophy — has come to pass, with Breer adding Wilson was “fully on board” with new OC Shane Waldron.

For what it’s worth, the 32-year-old quarterback does not expect to be traded. But he has, as you may have heard, revealed a destination list. And the Bears are taking that quite seriously. Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Seahawks have a few of their defensive contributors on track for free agency. One of those UFAs-to-be, Shaquill Griffin, is not certain he will return to Seattle. “I would love to be back in Seattle, but I know there’s a business aspect behind it,” Griffin said during an appearance on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football (via OregonLive.com). “But that organization knows I love it over there — the fans and coaches know how much I love Seattle. But at the end of the day, I know it’s strictly business.” This puts him in a similar position to K.J. Wright, who wants to stay but not on a hometown discount. The Seahawks have less than $5MM in cap space, so the franchise will need to create a bit more cap room going into free agency.
  • In order to preserve some cap space in a year in which the cap is expected to decline for only the second time ever, the Cardinals structured J.J. Watt‘s contract unusually. Watt’s two-year, $28MM deal ($31MM max value, via incentives) will only count $4.9MM on Arizona’s 2021 cap sheet, per OverTheCap. The Cards have tacked on three void years to prorate Watt’s signing bonus. Those years will void in 2023, creating $7.2MM in dead money, CBS Sports’ Joel Corry tweets. With the cap expected to go up again starting in 2022, it is not surprising to see the Cardinals opt to preserve cap space this year and worry about additional charges down the line. They still hold $12MM-plus in cap room; that sits in NFL’s top half.
  • Even though Trent Williams has expressed interest in staying in San Francisco, the 49ers are unlikely to keep the decorated left tackle off the market. Williams cannot be tagged. Were Williams to depart, the 49ers would have a major void up front. They should not be considered a destination for disgruntled Ravens tackle Orlando Brown, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic, who notes Brown’s 345-pound frame and mobility issues make him a poor fit for Kyle Shanahan‘s scheme (subscription required). The Ravens are listening to offers on Brown, who wants to play left tackle.

Russell Wilson Had Input On OC Hire, Wasn’t Happy With Earlier Candidates

Russell Wilson raised a lot of eyebrows with his comments on The Dan Patrick Show earlier where he said he didn’t like getting hit as often as he has been, and that he’d like to be more involved in personnel decisions. There was also a sourced report that Wilson has grown frustrated with the Seahawks’ inability to build an offensive line around him.

While Wilson certainly didn’t do anything to tamp down the recent speculation on Patrick’s show, it does sound like he had the input he’s seeking on at least one big recent decision. Wilson was “involved in the hire” of Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). Interestingly, it sounds like Wilson may not have initially been happy with the search, which was known to be wide-ranging.

Rapoport says there were “some choices kind of midway through he wasn’t pleased with,” which will be fun to speculate about. It’s impossible to say for sure who Wilson was concerned about, but there were some controversial big names thrown out in the initial search after the firing of Brian Schottenheimer.

Polarizing figures like Adam Gase reportedly spoke with Seattle brass about the OC opening. In the end though, it sounds like Wilson got his guy in the former Sean McVay protege. That would seem to indicate the Seahawks are intent on keeping Wilson content, and have no intention of going the Texans/Deshaun Watson route of freezing out.

Of course, Rapsheet points out that all this comes against the backdrop of the recent report that teams had inquired about trading for Wilson. While he emphasizes those trade advances were rebuffed by Seattle, Rapoport also adds that it’s “noteworthy” that teams “thought there might be something there, that maybe they could get him.” We’ll continue to monitor the situation.

Seahawks To Hire Shane Waldron

The Seahawks are set to hire Rams passing game coordinator Shane Waldron as their offensive coordinator (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). Waldron has worked for Sean McVay since 2016 — now, he’ll get to run his own offense and face his former mentor twice per year.

The Seahawks opened up their OC job with the firing of Brian Schottenheimer earlier this year. Waldron has never called plays before, but McVay has spoken highly of his acumen and leadership abilities.

He’s a phenomenal coach,” McVay said in 2018 (via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News). “He’s a great communicator. He’s got a rare ability to authentically and genuinely connect with not only coaches but the players and be able to correct in a manner that doesn’t make guys’ guards come up. It’s all about problem-solving and doing it together.”

Former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn , Bills quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey, and Raiders running backs coach Kirby Wilson were also considered along the way. Ultimately, Pete Carroll went with Waldron, who becomes the latest Rams coach or exec to leave L.A. Brandon StaleyJoe BarryBrad Holmes, Ray Agnew, and Aubrey Pleasant have all made their exits in recent weeks.