With the NFL regular season wrapping up Sunday, it's only a matter of hours before the coaching carousel starts spinning in earnest, with teams passing out pink slips and starting interviews to get a jump on the 2021 season.
Thus far, the Falcons, Lions and Texans already fired their head coaches during the regular season, and other teams -- like the Jets -- are expected to follow suit in short order.
As is the case in most years, members of the Patriots staff are being linked to job openings.
In a report from NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo, both Josh McDaniels and Jerod Mayo are names to watch in Houston as the Texans search for a replacement for Bill O'Brien.
McDaniels is perennially in the mix when coaching vacancies arise, and he recently reiterated his desire to take on another head coaching gig after one-plus season in Denver and then accepting (and backing out of) the Colts job. Should he move on from New England this offseason, one name to watch as a replacement could be Adam Gase, upon whom Bill Belichick heaped plenty of praise this past week.
As for Mayo, he is seen as a "rising star in NFL coaching circles" after serving two years on Belichick's staff as the team's inside linebackers coach.
Before Houston focuses on a head coach, however, the Texans plan to hire a new general manager -- and the NFL Media report included Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as a name of interest there.
One other Patriots name to watch in job searches is front office consultant Eliot Wolf, who was mentioned as a person of interest in the Lions' search for a new GM, according to the NFL Media rundown of job openings.