Safe or gone? Projecting every NFL team’s head coach status heading into 2022 offseason

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Heading into the final month of the 2021 NFL season, one thing that Chicago Bears fans are looking forward to is head coach Matt Nagy’s impending firing.

But it’s not likely to happen before season’s end given the Bears have never fired a head coach mid-season, even though there would be certain benefits to doing so.

With a new rule that NFL teams can interview coaching candidates in the final two weeks of the regular season, it wouldn’t a surprise to see some other teams, including Chicago, join Jacksonville and Las Vegas in their early coaching search.

But the Bears won’t be the only team that will be parting ways with their head coach. We’re projecting every NFL team’s head coaching status heading into the 2022 offseason, from safe to on the hot seat to likely gone.

Arizona Cardinals | HC Kliff Kingsbury

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Safe

Kliff Kingsbury has taken this Cardinals team to missing the playoffs last season to competing for the top seed in the NFC this year. There’s no concern with Kingsbury.

Atlanta Falcons | HC Arthur Smith

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Status: Safe

Arthur Smith inherited a Falcons team that’s expected to be rebuilding in the next few years. It’ll still be another couple of years before Smith is on the hot seat, if Atlanta hasn’t improved.

Baltimore Ravens | HC John Harbaugh

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Safe

While John Harbaugh was on the hot seat before drafting Lamar Jackson three years ago, that certainly isn’t the case now as his Ravens are atop the AFC North and poised for a return to the postseason.

Buffalo Bills | HC Sean McDermott

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Safe

The Bills have gone from irrelevant to Super Bowl contenders over the last couple of years, and Sean McDermott is a big reason why. Even with Buffalo’s recent struggles, this team is poised to compete in the AFC playoffs.

Carolina Panthers | HC Matt Rhule

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Status: Likely gone

The idea of Matt Rhule on the hot seat seemed like a ridiculous thought in the first three weeks of the season. But given Rhule’s mismanagement of things — including firing offensive coordinator Joe Brady — there’s reason to believe he’s out after this season.

Chicago Bears | HC Matt Nagy

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Status: Likely Gone

Matt Nagy has been a detriment to rookie Justin Fields and the offense’s success. He sealed his fate earlier this season with another five-game losing streak. It’s not a matter of if but when he’ll get the axe, likely after the season.

Cincinnati Bengals | HC Zac Taylor

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Status: On the hot seat

Cincinnati is in the thick of the AFC playoff race, but they have a difficult schedule ahead of them. Taylor has gotten criticism for the offense’s struggles and slow starts. If the Bengals lose out or miss the playoffs, Taylor could find himself out of a job.

Cleveland Browns | HC Kevin Stefanski

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Status: Safe

It might be too early to discuss Kevin Stefanski on the hot seat as the Browns are in the thick of a wild-card spot.

Dallas Cowboys | HC Mike McCarthy

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Status: Safe

In his second season in Dallas, Mike McCarthy has the Cowboys contending in the NFC and poised for a playoff run.

Denver Broncos | HC Vic Fangio

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Status: On the hot seat

Denver appears to be trending in the wrong direction, and Vic Fangio will have to answer for that. Although, there’s an argument to be made he hasn’t had much to work with at quarterback.

Detroit Lions | HC Dan Campbell

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Status: On the hot seat

First-year head coach Dan Campbell was an early hot-seat contender given his Lions didn’t win a game until Week 13. But given the circumstances and how his team has rallied around him, he could get some more time.

Green Bay Packers | HC Matt LaFleur

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Status: Safe

Matt LaFleur has his Packers competing for the No. 1 seed in the NFC once again, and his job status is about as safe as you can get.

Houston Texans | HC David Culley

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Likely gone

While David Culley is only in his first season as Texans head coach, there’s a strong belief the organization could part ways with him after just one year.

Indianapolis Colts | HC Frank Reich

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Safe

Frank Reich has been a home run for Indianapolis. The Colts are in the thick of the AFC playoff race, where they’re still well within reach of an AFC South title.

Jacksonville Jaguars | HC Urban Meyer

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Status: Fired

The Urban Meyer experience didn’t even last one season with the Jaguars following reports of a toxic culture in Jacksonville.

Kansas City Chiefs | HC Andy Reid

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Status: Safe

Despite some early-season struggles, the Chiefs are back stop the AFC and poised to claim the No. 1 seed heading into the postseason. Andy Reid’s job is about as safe as it gets.

Las Vegas Raiders | HC Jon Gruden

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Resigned

Jon Gruden resigned as the Raiders head coach following homophobic and misogynistic emails surfaced.

Los Angeles Chargers | HC Brandon Staley

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Status: Safe

Brandon Staley has his Chargers in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt in his first season as head coach, where they’re currently in possession of the first wild-card spot.

Los Angeles Rams | HC Sean McVay

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Status: Safe

Los Angeles is poised for a return to the postseason this year, where the pressure is on Sean McVay’s Rams to go on a playoff run after some big win-now moves this season.

Miami Dolphins | HC Brian Flores

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Status: Safe

After the Dolphins got off to a 1-7 start, Brian Flores was believed to be on the hot seat. But Miami has won six consecutive games to sit at 7-7 and one game out of a wild-card spot.

Minnesota Vikings | HC Mike Zimmer

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Status: On the hot seat

The Vikings are a team that’s poised for a rebuild, which could mean the end for Mike Zimmer, who likely wouldn’t want to stick around for what could be some rough years.

New England Patriots | HC Bill Belichick

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Status: Safe

The NFL’s greatest head coach in Bill Belichick has his Patriots competing for the AFC’s top seed — without Tom Brady as his quarterback. His job is always safe.

New Orleans Saints | HC Sean Payton

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Status: Safe

While the Saints have suffered a setback after Drew Brees’ retirement, Sean Payton remains a mainstay in New Orleans.

New York Giants | HC Joe Judge

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Status: On the hot seat

Joe Judge is in just his second season as the Giants head coach, but there’s a belief that he could be on his way out, along with GM Dave Gettlemen, following another disappointing season.

New York Jets | HC Robert Saleh

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Status: Safe

The Jets are in rebuild mode with a young roster and inexperienced coaching staff, so the assumption is Robert Saleh will get a couple of years to show progress.

Philadelphia Eagles | HC Nick Sirianni

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Status: Safe

First-year head coach Nick Sirianni’s future was a topic of discussion after the Eagles’ 2-4 start, but it doesn’t sound like there’s any truth to that. Sirianni’s job appears safe in Year 1.

Pittsburgh Steelers | HC Mike Tomlin

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Status: Safe

While it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Steelers this season, Mike Tomlin’s job appears to be safe heading into 2022, especially as Pittsburgh makes a push for the postseason.

San Francisco 49ers | HC Kyle Shanahan

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Status: Safe

While there was discussion about Kyle Shanahan potentially being on the hot seat earlier this season, he now has the 49ers poised for a return to the postseason, as they’re playing their best football at the right time.

Seattle Seahawks | HC Pete Carroll

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Status: On the hot seat

While Pete Carroll is the winningest coach in Seahawks history, there’s a chance the organization chooses a fresh start, which could mean the end of Carroll’s time in Seattle.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers | HC Bruce Arians

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Status: Safe

Bruce Arians is fresh off a Super Bowl championship and on the way to contending for another title this season. Safe to say he isn’t going anywhere.

Tennessee Titans | HC Mike Vrabel

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Status: Safe

While the Titans have lost three of their last four games after an 8-2 start, it seems that Mike Vrabel’s job is safe for the time being, barring missing the playoffs.

Washington Football Team | HC Ron Rivera

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Status: Safe

Following a bleak 2-6 start, Ron Rivera has Washington on the brink of a playoff spot heading into the final month of the season. While it’s been a bit rocky, Rivera’s upside is worth sticking with him.

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