While eight NFL sources told Yahoo! Sports that the league’s annual firing spree will likely result in six to eight head coaches losing their jobs at season's end, at least 13 jobs appear to be in some state of discussion. In addition, another six general manager jobs are also in flux.
Here’s a rundown of what could happen come as early as Monday, along with potential replacements for the most likely fired coaches.
Most likely changes
1. San Diego Chargers – A year after Norv Turner was kept over the objections of the Chargers fan base, his reign as coach appears to be down to a matter of hours. Turner will end up somewhere as an offensive coordinator, but his career as a head coach is likely done.
Possible replacements – Andy Reid (Eagles head coach), Bruce Arians (Colts offensive coordinator), Hue Jackson (Bengals assistant), Jim Caldwell (Ravens offensive coordinator).
2. Kansas City Chiefs – Romeo Crennel deserves a medal for what he has been through this season, particularly the murder-suicide involving Jovan Belcher. Sadly, his work as head coach fell far short of acceptable.
Possible replacements – Bruce Arians, Jim Caldwell, Ray Horton (Cardinals defensive coordinator), Jay Gruden (Bengals offensive coordinator), Kyle Shanahan (Redskins offensive coordinator), Brian Schottenheimer (Rams offensive coordinator).
3. Philadelphia Eagles – Andy Reid’s 14-year run as head coach is coming to an end with the worst season of his career. This comes following the personal tragedy of losing his son to an accidental drug overdose before the season. Reid should take a break, but he desperately wants to coach again.
Possible replacements – Chip Kelly (Oregon coach), Jon Gruden (broadcaster, former NFL coach), Jay Gruden, Hue Jackson.
4. Cleveland Browns – New team president Joe Banner is expected to do a full overhaul of the football operations, starting with coach Pat Shurmur and extending to general manager Tom Heckert. The breaking point is that Banner looked at the team’s failure to trade up for Robert Griffin III and the reasoning for it.
Possible replacements – Josh McDaniels (Patriots offensive coordinator), Chip Kelly, Nick Saban (Alabama coach), Ray Horton.
5. Buffalo Bills – Give coach Chan Gailey credit for being loyal to defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt, who a decade ago gave Gailey a coordinator job in Miami. However, that loyalty may have led to Gailey’s undoing in a year when the Bills were expected to compete for a title. That, and not being good enough at quarterback.
Possible replacements – Jay Gruden, Kyle Shanahan, Mike McCoy (Broncos offensive coordinator), Bruce Arians, Perry Fewell (Giants defensive coordinator), Jim Caldwell.
Pretty strong bets to go
6. Arizona Cardinals – The question is whether coach Ken Whisenhunt has completely lost the team (as it appears). Throw on top of that a really bad quarterbacking situation and you have plenty of justification for change … if ownership is willing to eat Whisenhunt’s salary.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – It may be unfair to give a coach only one year, but Mike Mularkey hasn’t done much to energize the Jaguars or the fans. The team's inability to develop second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert before his injury is damning. Couple that will a likely change at general manager and you have a recipe for a quick exit.
8. Tennessee Titans – When your owner calls one loss this season the worst he has witnessed in 50-plus years and says he then turns off the TV while watching the most recent game, that’s not good. Only coach Mike Munchak’s long history with the team may save him for another season.
Still a chance they could go
9. Oakland Raiders – According to one source, owner Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie were talking to confidants as recently as the past week about what to do with first-year coach Dennis Allen, who has done little or nothing to inspire confidence. More proof that the Raiders should have stuck with Hue Jackson.
10. New York Jets – All indications are that Rex Ryan is going to survive for another season, although there are probably going to be a lot of changes around him (GM, offensive coordinator and maybe even quarterback). But if owner Woody Johnson gets the urge, the purge could be complete.
11. Carolina Panthers – Whenever a GM is going to be replaced (the Panthers fired Marty Hurney in-season), there is automatic speculation about the head coach. However, it appears that coach Ron Rivera is safe right now.
12. Detroit Lions – Between his contract extension through 2015 and the Lions' abysmal history before he took over, coach Jim Schwartz appears to be safe. However, he definitely needs to change the attitude and approach of his team, which has too many problem children.
13. Chicago Bears – The Bears are an exceptionally conservative team and it’s unlikely that coach Lovie Smith will be let go after a winning season. That said, the constant changes at offensive coordinator and the underperformance of quarterback Jay Cutler are starting to trace to Smith.
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