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2024 NFL Head Coach Opening Predictions

The 2024 NFL head coaching cycle is a slow one, with Patriots successor Jerod Mayo being the only hire to this point. With seven teams looking for new leaders, these are my predictions for how head coach openings turn out.


Atlanta Falcons: Bill Belichick

It did not seem like a big secret that the Falcons were very interested in hiring legendary head coach Bill Belichick this offseason. With the more talented Cowboys squad retaining head coach Mike McCarthy, Atlanta looks like by far the most realistic landing spot for Belichick simply because we haven’t heard about interest from other teams (which is totally crazy, in my opinion). Belichick is set for a second interview with the Falcons this weekend, and it’s possible they don’t let him leave the building. He’ll have to figure out the quarterback situation (I would keep an eye on Russell Wilson), but there are pieces there to make the squad competitive in a weak division.


Also, it should be noted that Belichick is a very strong believer in the head coach having a big say—if not total control—in personnel. The Falcons should be a fit in that regard.


Carolina Panthers: Bobby Slowik

People are piling on the Panthers for not taking C.J. Stroud first overall last spring, but they are failing to see that Stroud has been put in a much better position to have success than Bryce Young. Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has a lot to do with that, and his playcalling talent was on full display in a dismantling of the Browns in the Wild Card Round. I wouldn’t discount owner David Tepper going all in on bringing Ben Johnson to Carolina, but Slowik is another intriguing offensive mind if that doesn’t work out.


Las Vegas Raiders: Antonio Pierce

Raiders players headlined by All-Pro edge rusher Maxx Crosby have basically given team owner Mark Davis an ultimatum: hire interim head coach Antonio Pierce, or else. I don’t agree with a star player taking that type of stance, but that paired with Pierce going 5-4 as the interim coach while getting the team to play more fundamentally sound, and the fact that Davis did not retain interim Rich Bisaccia a few years ago, could all lead to Pierce being the choice.


Los Angeles Chargers: Jim Harbaugh

Keep an eye on Jim Harbaugh to Vegas if Mark Davis decides against Pierce, but the Chargers have been an obvious fit for Harbaugh (and Belichick, but we have not heard anything there) if he makes the jump back to the NFL—and after bringing Michigan a national championship, it might be time. Harbaugh’s love for quarterback Justin Hebert is now well known, so that almost makes it no question that this is the job he’d want despite salary cap issues.


Seattle Seahawks: Dan Quinn

The stunningly poor performance by the Cowboys defense this postseason could certainly change things, but it could also mean the Seattle job is the only one Dan Quinn would be able to land this coaching cycle. Quinn helped Seattle win Super Bowl XLVIII in dominant fashion, and a partnership with super-powerful general manager John Schneider makes sense.


Tennessee Titans: Thomas Brown

The issues with the Titans were personnel more than anything, and I do not think the team should have fired head coach Mike Vrabel. For second-year general manager Ran Carthon’s head coaching hire, he might want to go with someone he can grow with and that might not necessarily push back on roster-building (so you can rule a few options out). Former Rams associate head coach and Panthers offensive coordinator Thomas Brown might be able to immediately connect with Carthon as a fellow former NFL running back, and Brown had been at a bunch of spots in different roles in college football before landing with the Rams.


Washington Commanders: Ben Johnson

Reporters have hinted at Ben Johnson being the most likely hire for the Commanders, and it feels like something that could come together quickly whenever the Lions are eliminated from the postseason (or get to the Super Bowl). Former general manager Rick Spielman is advising Josh Harris and the franchise’s new ownership, and his brother Chris is currently a leader in Detroit’s front office as the special assistant to ownership—so it’s easy to connect the dots there, and these moves often come down to connections.


While Johnson would probably be an awesome hire, I would also strongly consider Belichick, Harbaugh, or Vrabel here. But that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.