NFL Hiring Cycle 2024: Latest News & Rumors on Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick, Jim Harbaugh, Jon Gruden, Ben Johnson, and More

Here are the latest NFL news and rumors as we continue through the cycle where coaches are fired, hired, and other organizational changes are made.

The 2023 NFL regular season has concluded, and Black Monday is over. However, that does not mean that NFL news and rumors have stopped coming in. For a number of teams, the hiring cycle has begun as they look to bring in new head coaches or general managers. Here is the latest from around the NFL.

Latest NFL News and Rumors

The following NFL news and rumors were reported on January 10, 2024.

Pete Carroll No Longer Seahawks Head Coach

The Seattle Seahawks will have a new head coach for the first time since 2009. Pete Carroll will not return as Seattle’s HC in 2024, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Seahawks chairperson Jody Allen announced in a statement that Carroll will remain with the organization in an advisory role.

Carroll, 72, indicated as recently as Monday that he was “not worn out” nor “tired” and seemed to suggest he’d remain Seattle’s coach entering next season. Instead, the Seahawks will become the seventh NFL team with a head coaching vacancy.

Bears to Keep Matt Eberflus Amid Coaching Changes

According to ESPN, the Bears opted to keep head coach Matt Eberflus after extensive meetings Monday and Tuesday. However, the Bears announced Wednesday afternoon that Getsy and four other offensive assistants — quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, running backs coach Omar Young, and assistant tight ends coach Tim Zetts — were fired.

Eberflus is 10-24 in two seasons with Chicago after spending the previous 13 years as a defensive assistant coach in the NFL.

Antonio Pierce’s Potential Future

The following NFL news and rumors were reported on January 09, 2024.

Antonio Pierce has done an excellent job as the interim head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders. Since taking over in early November, Pierce has compiled a 5-4 coaching record. This includes two blowout wins and an upset over the rivaled Kansas City Chiefs.

Now, according to Sports Illustrated’s Hondo Carpenter, Pierce is getting interest from the New York Giants to replace Wink Martindale as their defensive coordinator. Pierce has expressed his interest to remain the HC of the Raiders, but the team has yet to make a decision.

Titans Fire Mike Vrabel

The Tennessee Titans decided to move on from long-time head coach Mike Vrabel, who just finished his sixth season with the team. Just two years removed from a 12-5 season, the Titans are looking for a new head coach.

Shortly after the news broke, Dianna Russini reportedly spoke with Titans RB Derrick Henry, who seemed surprised by the news. “Wow. Wow. I’m shocked. Coach Vrabel is a leader of men. He is a great coach and teacher. I know he will get another opportunity right away. I look forward to it.”

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk released the following statement on Tuesday:

“Earlier today, I spoke with Mike Vrabel and told him about my decision to make a change at head coach. As I told Coach Vrabel, this decision was as difficult as any I’ve made as Controlling Owner. I appreciate Mike’s contributions to the Tennessee Titans both on and off the field.”

You can read the entire statement here.

Doug Pederson Releases Statement

With a number of changes coming to the Jaguars coaching staff, head coach Doug Pederson released a statement thanking his team. In addition to letting go of their defensive coordinator during Black Monday, the Jaguars fired RB coach Bernie Parmalee and didn’t renew the contract of assistant OL coach Todd Washington.

Latest Around Bill Belichick

According to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, Bill Belichick has been conducting business as usual in recent weeks without displaying any signs that he might be finished with the Patriots. Schultz goes on to report that Belichick met with ownership on Black Monday and is scheduled for at least one more meeting as the sides seek a final resolution on his future.

Coaches and front office members in the building do not know what will happen. This is solely a Kraft/Belichick discussion.

Jim Harbaugh Hints At Future?

After winning the National Championship with Michigan last night, Jim Harbaugh was asked about his future. During his interview, he referenced spring practices with the school and some of the plans he has for the Wolverines.

Black Monday Recap

The following NFL news and rumors were reported on Black Monday, January 08, 2024.

Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels Reunion?

According to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, Robert Kraft will meet this week to discuss the direction of the Patriots franchise and whether head coach Bill Belichick will continue to be part of it. During that meeting, Kraft is looking for a dramatic plan from the legendary head coach to turn things around.

According to Howe, part of that plan may include a reunion with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is considered a candidate to return. Howe notes that McDaniels and Belichick have remained close, and McDaniels has long been one of Kraft’s favorite members of the organization.

Panthers Release List of Nine Candidates

The Panthers have requested permission to interview the following coaches:

  • Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson
  • Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik
  • Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan
  • Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn
  • Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald
  • Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith
  • Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
  • Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken
  • Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales

Todd Munken Gaining Traction As Mike Caldwell Is Fired

According to Ian Rapoport, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Munken has received requests to interview for head coach openings with both the Chargers and Panthers. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have made a coaching change, firing defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell. This comes after the team collapsed down the stretch and missed the playoffs.

Jon Gruden Could Join Saints’ Staff?

Former NFL head coach Jon Gruden is a candidate to join the Saints’ offensive staff, according to Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com. Gruden would likely become an additional voice on the club’s coaching roster rather than a replacement for incumbent offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, per Duncan.

Gruden met with the Saints multiple times during the summer, then attended a team meeting and dined with New Orleans’ staff before the team’s Week 17 game against the Buccaneers, as Duncan reported today.

The Saints had previously sought Gruden’s advice after signing QB Derek Carr, whom Gruden coached with the Raiders before resigning in 2021 after racist and homophobic emails he’d sent became public. Gruden won Super Bowl 38 as Tampa Bay’s head coach.

Panthers Want to Interview Bengals OC Brian Callahan, Begin GM Requests

The Panthers have put in a request to meet with Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, as NFL Network reported on Monday. Because Cincinnati is not in the playoffs, Callahan can conduct a virtual interview with Carolina as early as Wednesday.

Callahan doesn’t call plays for the Bengals, but he’s an integral part of an offensive process that allowed Jake Browning to thrive as Cincinnati’s starting quarterback after Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury. He may also be able to add his father — the Browns’ Bill Callahan, arguably the best OL coach in the NFL — to his staff.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are also reaching out to potential GM candidates. On Monday, Carolina requested interviews with Buccaneers assistant GM Mike Greenberg, Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown, Chiefs VP of football operations Brandt Tillis, Saints VP of Football Administration Khai Harley, and Eagles assistant GM Alec Halaby.

Giant DC Wink Martindale Resigns

Giants defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale resigned on Monday after two seasons in New York, according to NFL Network. ESPN recently reported that Martindale was not expected to remain with Big Blue for much longer.

FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported as early as November that Martindale’s relationship with Giants head coach Brian Daboll was in a “bad place.” The two coaches had a tense sideline exchange during New York’s Week 10 loss to Dallas, but Martindale later downplayed that episode.

While the Giants’ defense finished bottom-five in yards per play and points per drive in 2023, Martindale wasn’t working with the league’s best depth chart. Martindale, who interviewed for the Colts’ head coaching job last offseason, should easily find another DC gig.

Commanders Hope to Interview Ravens DC Mike Macdonald

Ravens DC Mike Macdonald will arguably be the top defensive mind available on the 2024 head coaching circuit after his unit ranked first in points and yards per play allowed and second in efficiency last season.

The Commanders want a chance to interview Macdonald and have put in a request to Baltimore, per NFL Network. Macdonald joins a list of Washinton candidates that includes Lions OC Ben Johnson, Lions DC Aaron Gleen, Rams DC Raheem Morris, and Texans associate HC/DL Anthony Weaver.

Raiders Make GM Interview Requests

The Raiders are in a state of flux, as interim general manager Champ Kelly and interim head coach Antonio Pierce remain candidates to take over their current jobs full-time. Las Vegas has yet to make any moves on the head coaching front, but the club is getting started on its GM search.

On Monday, the Raiders put in requests to interview a long list of general manager candidates: 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters, Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds, Bengals senior personnel executive Trey Brown, and Bills director of player personnel Terrance Gray. Unlike head coaching candidates, potential general managers can begin interviewing immediately.

Peters has long been viewed as a future GM and has turned down interview requests in the past, including last offseason, when he rejected interest from the Cardinals and  Titans. He’s also a candidate with the Commanders and will meet with Washington this week, per Sports Illustrated.

MORE: 2024 NFL GM Candidates

Dodds has also repeatedly withdrawn from GM searches, declining requests from the Browns in 2020 and the Panthers in 2021. But he interviewed with the Raiders in 2022, and owner Mark Davis must have liked what he heard to bring Dodds back in 2024.

Brown is another repeat candidate who discussed the Raiders’ GM job with Davis in 2022 before Las Vegas hired Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels. He first interviewed for an NFL GM role back in 2017, when he was in the mix for the Bills’ gig. Brown has spent time with the Eagles, Patriots, the XFL, and the AAF.

Gray has been in NFL front offices for 20 years, working with the Vikings for 11 seasons before joining the Bills alongside GM Brandon Beane in 2017. He initially served as Buffalo’s director of college scouting before moving into player personnel in 2020.

Pete Carroll to Return as Seahawks HC

The Seahawks didn’t make the playoffs in 2023, but Pete Carroll isn’t ready to call it quits after missing out on the postseason. Speaking to Seattle Sports on Monday, Caroll said he intends to continue as the Seahawk’s head coach in 2024.

“I plan to be coaching this team,” Carroll said. “I told you I love these guys. That’s what I would like to be doing and see how far we can go. I’m not tired. I’m not worn out. I need to do a better job and help my coaches more.”

Falcons, Panthers Interested in Bill Belichick

While Bill Belichick is still the Patriots’ head coach as of Monday, the Falcons will be interested in the future Hall of Famer if he departs New England, as The Athletic reported on Monday. Atlanta fired HC Arthur Smith after three consecutive 7-10 campaigns.

Belichick’s defensive bona fides are unparalleled, but he’d need to bring in a strong offensive play-caller to get the most out of RB Bijan Robinson, WR Drake London, and TE Kyle Pitts. Falcons owner Arthur Blank had ex-Patriots executive Thomas Dimitroff as his GM for 13 seasons, so he’s fully aware of how New England’s operation works.

The Panthers have also made “informal inquiries” on Belichick, per CBS Sports. Over the weekend, The Athletic reported that Belichick has “asked about (owner David) Tepper and the Panthers’ situation.”

Commanders Begin HC, GM Interview Requests

The Commanders aren’t wasting any time as they seek to replace head coach Ron Rivera. Washington has requested interviews with Lions OC Ben Johnson and DC Aaron Glenn, per NFL Network. The club also plans to meet with Rams DC Raheem Morris and Ravens DL coach Anthony Weaver, according to ESPN.

Because those three teams are playing on Wild Card Weekend, the Commanders cannot meet with any of those candidates — even virtually — until next weekend. In-person meetings can’t be conducted until Jan. 22.

Martin Mayhew is still technically Washington’s general manager, but the team is looking for other options. The Commanders have requested interviews with Browns assistant GM Glenn Cook, Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham, 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters, and Chiefs assistant GM Mike Borgonzi. General manager interviews can begin immediately.

Ron Rivera Fired by Washington Commanders

Early on Monday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Commanders fired head coach Ron Rivera. During his time with the Commanders, Rivera has a 26-40-1 record, finishing with just one winning season in 2022.

Rivera released a statement on Monday, thanking Washington’s fans for his time in the nation’s capital.

“I want every Washington fan to know how much I appreciate your unwavering support. Through all the name changes, roster moves, non-football headlines, and seasons that did not meet your expectations, you still stood by this team. We did win an NFC East title in 2020, but we fell short since then, and for that, I am truly disappointed.”

MORE: 2024 NFL Head Coaching Candidates

Managing partner of the Commanders, Josh Harris, also released a statement. “I want to thank Ron and his wife Stephanie for all they did for the Commanders and DMV community, especially during the ownership transition. Ron helped navigate this organization through some challenging times. He is a good man and thoughtful leader who has positively contributed to this organization and the NFL. I wish the Rivera family nothing but the best moving forward.”

ESPN then reported that the Commanders have hired former Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers and former Vikings GM Rick Spielman to assist with the search for a new head of football operations and coach.

Myers and Spielman will join Mitch Rales, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and David Blitzer on an advisory committee. That group will work with Harris “to make the best decisions for the franchise.”

Per Bleacher Report, the Commanders have an interest in Jim Harbaugh. Jordan Schultz reported that Myers has already contacted Harbaugh’s agent, Don Yee, as part of his new role with the Commanders.

Scott Fitterer Fired by Carolina Panthers

The Panthers started Monday morning by moving on from GM Scott Fitterer, who had been with the team since 2021. The Panthers released a short statement from owner David Tepper, which stated the search for a replacement GM will start immediately to have them in place to begin the coaching search on Jan. 22.

“As we move forward with the new direction for our franchise, I have made the decision that Scott Fitterer will no longer serve as our general manager. I appreciate Scott’s efforts and wish the best for him and his family.”

The Panthers have gone 14-37 during Tepper’s tenure. Last year, they traded up to the first overall pick to select QB Bryce Young.

Bill Belichick Spoke With the Media via Video Call on Monday Morning

Embattled Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke with the media via a video call Monday in which he discussed his future.

“I’m under contract. I’m going to do what I always do, which is every day I come in, work as hard as I can to help the team in whatever way I can. As far as any decisions or direction or anything like that for next year; it’s way too early for that.

“End of the year process, I don’t think will be fundamentally different from the standpoint of how it’s done. The decisions — that’s a whole another conversation.

“But how it’s done, I’ll meet with Robert [Kraft], like I always do. Meet with the staff. Meet with the personnel department. Kind of recap the season. Look at the big picture and then look at some of the individual situations that are looming one way or another.

“But that’s obviously a long way off from where we are right now. So we’ll start, at the end of the day, putting the pieces back together of setting things up to go through a good, detailed analysis — to kind of start reconstruction, if you will.”

Belichick has been with the Patriots since 2000 and has a 266-121 record during that time. In his 24 years as the head coach of the Patriots, he has overseen a losing record on just four occasions. However, three of those four have come in the past four seasons, with New England having made the playoffs just once in that span.

New York Giants Fire Thomas McGaughey and Bobby Johnson

Monday morning, the Giants moved on from special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey and OL coach Bobby Johnson. McGaughey has been with the team for six years with three different head coaches. After an impressive start to his time with New York through the first four seasons, his units have struggled in the last two years.

Johnson came with Daboll from the Bills, where he held the same title. He oversaw two tough seasons for the Giants’ OL after having reasonable success with the Bills when Daboll was the offensive coordinator in Buffalo.

New York Jets To Make Lower-Level Staffing Changes

Per a report from The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt, the “Jets are expected to make some staff changes but nothing significant.” In his report, Rosenblatt states that the three coordinators — Nathaniel Hackett, Jeff Ulbrich, and Brant Boyer — are all expected to return.

Two other coaches that Rosenblatt named as expecting to stay include passing game coordinator Todd Downing and OL coach/run game coordinator Keith Carter. Head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that there would be nothing significant in terms of changes coming.

John Harbaugh Reportedly Garnering Interest on Multiple Fronts

In addition to Schultz’s report that the Commanders have reached out to Harbaugh’s agent, he reported that both the Raiders and Chargers could be options for Harbaugh.

According to the report, Harbaugh and the Raiders have a mutual interest, but there is also seemingly “a slew of internal support for Antonio Pierce.” Schultz also stated that Harbaugh has “a lot of interest” in the vacancy in Los Angeles.

Mike Vrabel Reportedly Interested in a Return to the New England Patriots

With uncertainty swirling around Mike Vrabel’s future in Tennessee, Jordan Schultz reported that Vrabel is “interested in the idea of returning to the Patriots, should New England part ways with Bill Belichick.” This matches similar reporting that Vrabel could be a candidate for the Patriots’ head coaching role if a spot opens up in Foxborough.

Vrabel could theoretically stick with the Titans, but CBS Sports said he’s “50/50” to remain in Tennessee. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s players and coaches have yet to hear an update on Vravel’s status, per The Athletic.

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