The Eagles joined a growing group of teams eager to make up for the disappointment that their 2020 seasons were filled with on Monday by parting ways with Doug Pederson.
Known and immortalized as the first head coach to capture a Super Bowl title, Pederson’s time in Philly will likely be remembered as a mixed bag that had more highs than lows. Aside from the miraculous 2017 season, his offense looked rather pedestrian far too often and that, amongst a list of other things, is likely what led to his eventual departure.
Now, with offensive and defensive coordinator openings to boot, the Eagles look to appoint a successor to one of the pillars of their organization. They join the company of the Jaguars, Lions, Texans, Chargers, and Falcons as teams on the hunt for new leadership.
Here, I’ll rank the head coach openings to see how the Eagles fair on the market.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
No need to overthink this one. The Chargers have a host of things that potential hires should be excited about. Chief among them is the opportunity to work with franchise signal-caller Justin Herbert and Pro Bowl talent Keenan Allen.
The Chargers also boast the ninth-most cap space in the NFL, making them heavy players this upcoming free agency.
Mix that with the allure and bright lights of sunny Los Angeles and you get a slam dunk coaching opportunity.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville has struggled mightily for the better portion of the 2000s. One of the least successful franchises in the league, they stayed par for the course with a putrid 1-15 record this season.
Possessors of one of the worst rosters in the league, the Jags must undergo major changes if they are to compete again. Fortunately for them, they are abundant in the two things you need to inspire change, cap space and draft capital.
Notably, the Jags own the first overall pick in the upcoming draft. They also own the Rams first-round pick this year as a result of the Jalen Ramsey trade.
The opportunity to land this year’s top quarterback option in Trevor Lawrence will certainly excite potential hires. Additionally, the whopping $74M in cap space the Jags boast will also likely make coaches’ eyes pop.
With that much money, the team could quickly load up and surround their young signal-caller with talent as they look to become relevant in the AFC South.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
I debated putting the Jets in at this slot based on the plethora of cap space in their possession, but I think the existing roster talent and quarterback situation in Philly make them a bit more enticing.
Speaking of QB situations, let’s discuss the Eagles’ for a moment. Frankly, last year was far from ideal in Philly. Wentz seemingly forgot how to play football for a couple of months before Hurts came in and flashed potential as a starter.
Rumors circled that Wentz and Pederson’s relationship had deteriorated beyond repair and reports have already surfaced since Pederson’s release citing that Wentz may stick around in Philly.
Whether or not Wentz is the Eagles starter in 2021 remains to be seen, but he will likely still be on the roster when the Birds appoint their next HC, which I think will work in their favor.
As we know, head coaches like to find their franchise quarterback as soon as humanly possible, eager to build around and evolve him. In regards to the Eagles head coach opening, potential hires will inherit TWO quarterbacks that have flashed starting quarterback potential.
Wentz has a much larger sample size of success, but coaches will likely be tantalized by Hurts’ dual-threat ability.
Having two potential franchise signal-callers is a rather unique situation for Philly and one that I think will help them lure in potential hires.
Aside from the QBs, the Eagles boast a pretty sound roster and whoever they bring in will have the freedom to essentially bring in his own staff, since the team has so many other openings.
4. New York Jets
I alluded to it earlier, but the Jets have a stuuupid amount of cap space. Much like the Jags, their pitch is reliant on cap space and draft capital.
With the second overall pick, the Jets seem primed to land a star and have the money to spend and acquire more if they play their cards right. They’ll need a coach that can handle the pressure of New York, but the right candidate could turn this franchise around.
5. Atlanta Falcons
Things have been up-and-down for the Falcons the last few years. Seemingly always good enough to compete, the team has become known for finding creative ways to squander leads and lose games.
Still, there are plenty of coaches that would jump at the chance to adopt the Julio Jones-Calvin Ridley tandem, and with a top-five draft choice to boot, Atlanta stands out as an attractive destination.
6. Houston Texans
After the Falcons, I would say there is a pretty steep drop off in allure for the final two teams, starting with the Texans. Following the short-sighted, underachieving Bill O’Brien tenure, the Texans are left with minimal means to improve next year. They are currently $18M over the cap despite possessing one of the league’s worst rosters and they owe their first-round draft choice, which is third overall, to the Miami Dolphins. Yikes.
The only real thing they have going for them is Deshaun Watson, who is a bonafide star at the QB position.
7. Detroit Lions
Much like the Texans, the Lions’ true calling card is having a gunslinger at quarterback. Sans Matthew Stafford, there isn’t a ton to be excited about.
Coaches likely aren’t racing to play Aaron Rodgers twice a year and the Lions seemingly have more holes than they have resources to fix it, especially with star wideout Kenny Golladay approaching free agency.
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