Seattle Unexpectedly Added to NFL Head Coaching Vacancies

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The Seattle Seahawks were 9-8 this season and in the mix for a playoff berth into the final Sunday. But that was not enough for longtime head coach Pete Carroll to retain his job. Just days after telling reporters that he expected to return for a 15th season along the sideline in Seattle, Carroll is out. In 2024, he will transition into an advisory role as a vice president. 

It’s an easement into eventual retirement, similar to what Bruce Arians did in Tampa Bay in 2022.

Carroll was the head coach in Seattle for 14 years, winning the franchise’s only Super Bowl. But his success in recent years has paled in comparison to what he did early in his tenure. From 2012 to 2020, Carroll’s Seahawks had the second-best record in the NFL, they made the playoffs in eight of nine years, and appeared in two Super Bowls. Over the last three years, they have been just 25-26, and have been in the playoffs just once.

When the 2023 season began, brick and mortar sportsbooks in Washington were paying -125 on the Seahawks making the playoffs.

Before taking the job with Seattle in 2010, Carroll coached nine years at USC. He leaves head coaching as one of just three men to win a Super Bowl and a college football National Championship.

Ranking the Open Head Coaching Jobs

Seattle becomes the seventh open head coaching position in the NFL, and it is the most desirable of the seven.

In Seattle, you have a rabid fanbase, one of the best general managers in the league in John Schneider, and lots of talent on the roster. With D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, you have one of the best wide receiving groups in the NFL. The offensive line has two very good young tackles. The defense has two of the best young cornerbacks in the league.

Quarterback is a long-term issue. But in the short-term, Geno Smith is an affordable option.

The Washington Commanders are the second-best available team for many of the same reasons. You have new and innovative ownership, talented weapons in Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, and the No. 2 overall draft pick. NFL online sportsbooks are predicting that North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye will be taken with that pick.

The Los Angeles Chargers play in a nice stadium, they have talent on the outside in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and they have Justin Herbert – easily the best quarterback in the league without a current head coach. Bovada.lv has Jim Harbaugh as the heavy favorite to be the next head coach in Los Angeles, paying -300. Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is next at +600.

Quarterback is the reason the Chargers rank ahead of the Atlanta Falcons. But the Falcons do have very good young players in Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts. They also have the eighth overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The Las Vegas Raiders have some superstars, but not one of them plays quarterback, which is a problem. They also have a recent history of missteps at head coach, and that has ownership still on the hook for big contracts to Jon Gruden and Josh McDaniels. So the contract they can offer a new head coach will be smaller than most other teams.

The Tennessee Titans have a new stadium on the horizon. But that is the only good thing you can say about this team going forward. The new head coach of the Carolina Panthers will have to deal with owner David Tepper, which easily makes that job the worst of the bunch.

At retail sportsbooks in North Carolina, the betting favorites to be the next Panthers head coach include Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.

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