Ranking the NFL coaching openings as Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh seek new jobs

The NFL coaching market is as captivating as ever — and could become even more compelling.

Seven teams need to fill a head coaching vacancy, while several of the NFL’s premier franchises may soon join them.

Mike McCarthy is firmly on the hot seat after his latest postseason disappointment with the Dallas Cowboys, while the Philadelphia Eagles have a choice to make about Nick Sirianni following a late-season freefall and first-round playoff exit.

Even the future of Mike Tomlin, who has never finished with a losing record in his 17 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, became the subject of speculation.

Those openings would offer additional options for big-name coaches including Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll.

The coming days will bring more clarity on the situations in Dallas, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but here is the Daily News’ current ranking of the best available coaching jobs.

7. Carolina Panthers

Whoever ends up with the Panthers has their work cut out for them.

Fresh off an NFL-worst 2-15 season, the Panthers have holes across their roster with limited resources to fill them.

Bryce Young, whom Carolina selected No. 1 overall last year after trading a haul to Chicago, remains a major work in progress after a rookie season in which the 5-10 quarterback passed for 11 touchdowns against 10 interceptions in 16 games.

The Panthers badly need offensive weapons and help along the defensive front but are without this year’s first-round pick — which ended up being the No. 1 overall selection — and next year’s second-rounder due to the Young trade. Their $24.2 million in cap space ranks 16th in the NFL, according to the website Over The Cap.

Beyond those roster deficiencies, prospective coaches may be turned off by the hands-on approach of owner David Tepper, who just fired Frank Reich after 11 games.

6. Tennessee Titans

Things aren’t as dire in Tennessee, which owns much better tools to pull off a rebuild.

The Titans, who went 6-11 last year, have the seventh pick in the draft, where they should at least be able to come away with the No. 1-type wide receiver their ailing offense needs. Their $71 million in cap space is the third-most among NFL teams.

Quarterback remains a question after second-round rookie Will Levis showed some promise, especially with his arm talent, but completed only 58.4% of his passes. Getting quarterback right is paramount in an AFC South where the Jaguars (Trevor Lawrence), Texans (C.J. Stroud) and Colts (Anthony Richardson) seem to have their long-term solutions.

The Titans roster, which is likely to move on from star running back Derrick Henry, needs a lot of work, especially along the offensive line and on defense.

There will be growing pains that make this job unappealing for coaches not interested in a full-blown rebuild.

5. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders showed life down the stretch, winning three of their final four games and boasting a much-improved defense under interim coach Antonio Pierce to finish 8-9.

Still, this is a roster without a franchise quarterback or a high enough draft pick (No. 13) to reasonably select one to plug in and play.

There are rumors star pass rusher Maxx Crosby would explore a trade if Pierce isn’t made the full-time coach, while running back Josh Jacobs seems poised for free agency after an unspectacular season on the franchise tag.

Davante Adams, who is also coming off a down year, could be a trade candidate depending on which direction the new regime decides to go.

All of that adds up to an uncertain situation that would look a little better if the Raiders could add a veteran quarterback like Russell Wilson to their current roster. There’s also a prestige that comes with coaching the Raiders that other teams can’t offer.

4. Seattle Seahawks

Perhaps more than any team, the Seahawks are in purgatory.

Geno Smith, Tyler Lockett and cut-candidate Jamal Adams help headline a veteran roster that’s still good enough to compete but probably not good enough to win a Super Bowl.

With the No. 16 pick, the Seahawks select too low to begin a new era at quarterback, and with -4.7 million in cap space, there’s not much flexibility to meaningfully add to the roster.

Wide receivers DK Metcalf and Jaxon Smith-Njigba and cornerback Devon Witherspoon offer youth, but whoever takes this job will be hard pressed to improve on the 9-8 record Carroll posted in back-to-back seasons.

The new coach will also be joining an NFC West featuring two of the NFL’s better-run franchises in the 49ers and Rams.

3. Atlanta Falcons

In most offseasons, this Falcons job would be the best available.

Atlanta (7-10) underachieved on offense under the conservative Arthur Smith, but the Falcons feature building blocks in running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts, who were each drafted with top-10 picks.

They need a quarterback and likely won’t be able to get a top-tier one with the No. 8 pick in the draft. They have, however, been heavily linked to Justin Fields, who figures to be traded if the Bears decide to select USC’s Caleb Williams first overall.

Belichick interviewed with the Falcons this week, marking his first meeting with a team since parting ways with the Patriots. He and Fields would surely make the Falcons the favorites in the NFC South, which remains the NFL’s worst division.

2. Washington Commanders

An organization defined by dysfunction for the past three decades finally appears to be on the right track.

The controversial Dan Snyder is out as owner. Josh Harris is in and recently made a well-received hire at general manager with Adam Peters, who helped assemble the 49ers’ loaded roster.

The Commanders have an NFL-best $75 million in cap space. They have the No. 2 pick in the draft, where they’ll be able to take a touted quarterback such as Williams, UNC’s Drake Maye or LSU’s Jayden Daniels.

Their roster, while certainly in need of an overhaul, features nice pieces on offense in Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Brian Robinson and on defense in Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen.

This turnaround might not take as long as some of the others.

1. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers’ -45 million in cap space — by far the worst on this list — is not ideal. Neither is an owner in Dean Spanos who historically hasn’t paid much for his coaches or front office. Nor is joining a division headlined by Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the dynastic Chiefs.

Trumping all of those factors, though, is the Chargers’ quarterback situation.

Justin Herbert is a 25-year-old stud with proven productivity. Beyond him, this is a roster with blue-chip pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack; a still-productive No. 1 wide receiver in Keenan Allen; and a decorated left tackle in Rashawn Slater who is only 24. The No. 5 pick in the draft should help, too.

The Chargers are built to win now, and with the right coach, they should be able to. Harbaugh, who just led Michigan to an NCAA title, interviewed with Los Angeles this week.