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Five NFL head coaches who could be fired on Black Monday

On the day in which the NFL regular season concludes, today also marks the eve of several head coaching jobs becoming vacant.” Black Monday” as it’s known, will see several NFL head coaches be relieved of their duties, and these are the names to keep a close eye on being fired by their respective teams.

Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

This is as close to a sure thing as you can get in the NFL. Rivera hasn’t had a winning record since getting the Commanders job in 2020, and hasn’t finished above .500 as a head coach since 2017 with the Panthers. With new owners in Washington, they’ll look to tear it all down and rebuild from the bottom up.

Arthur Smith, Atlanta Falcons

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

Arthur Smith’s evident determination to try and win games without using any of his best players may be his undoing. Kyle Pitts, Drake London and Bijan Robinson were all early-round draft picks that have not come close to being utilized to their full potential, and the mess at quarterback going from Matt Ryan to Marcus Mariota to Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke (and back to Desmond Ridder!) has been amongst the worst in the league over the last three seasons. Remember when the Falcons put out a statement as to why they didn’t want Lamar Jackson? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

Robert Saleh, New York Jets

(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

I wouldn’t be surprised if Saleh gets his walking papers. Yes, the Aaron Rodgers injury threw the largest possible wrench in their plans, but Saleh also has yet to have a winning record, and his handling of the quarterback position was abysmal. That said, the defense has played incredible over the last two years so if any changes are made, it may just be to the offensive staff and offensive coordinator (if Aaron Rodgers allows that, of course).

Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Even if the Bucs make the playoffs, why stick with Bowles? He’s a defensive coach whose defense was amongst the worst in the NFL this season. The Bucs entered Week 18 21st in the league in defensive EPA per play and allowing the most passing yards per game this season. The Bucs should look to get a younger offensive-minded head coach, or if they want to bring in someone like Lou Anarumo from the Bengals, make sure he has a competent offensive coordinator to bring in with him.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

It really does feel like the end for Belichick in New England, and it’s honestly time. Belichick has done a miserable job at team-building, massively over-paying for Jonnu Smith, DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, just to name a few since Tom Brady left. The quarterback situation has also been a toilet salad, with Mac Jones saying “Watch this, then” every time fans said he couldn’t get worse. Both Belichick and the Patriots just need to hit reset. If he wants to keep coaching to pursue another ring and the all-time wins record, I’d be hesitant as a potential suitor to bring him in if he demands full control. Because of Belichick’s legacy, owner Robert Kraft might make it look like a mutual agreement instead of a firing, but the result would be the same.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire