There are currently a whopping ten offensive coordinator openings this offseason (and potentially more if current OCs are hired as head coaches elsewhere). There are many factors that go into it, and one coach might be looking for something completely different than another, but this is how I rank the ten 2023 NFL offensive coordinator openings.
10. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have Kyler Murray, but he’s coming off a torn ACL and will be dealing with what’s likely to be a much different supporting cast if receiver DeAndre Hopkins is traded this offseason. Overall, while it could be fun to build an offense around a video-game-like quarterback in Murray, the pieces—including on the offensive line—are a concern.
9. Indianapolis Colts
A year ago, it would have seemed unfathomable that the Colts offensive coordinator job wouldn’t be seen as one of the best in the league if it became open. All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor just turned 24 years old and led the league in rushing behind an excellent offensive line in 2021, but things suddenly fell apart this season. A new offensive staff can potentially get Quenton Nelson and company to get to the level they were at when they could maul the opposition, in which case there would be a lot to work with; but quarterback is currently uncertain, and Indy must add more at the skill positions around Taylor.
8. Tennessee Titans
Similarly, the Titans have a stud running back and are looking to add more around him—including better play from the offensive line. Tennessee gets the edge over the Colts for me because Mike Vrabel has proven to be one of the best coaches in the league and a prospective OC should know what he’s getting into. The offense will initially continue to revolve around superstar runner Derrick Henry, but it could be fun to evolve the unit as more is added in the coming years. Ryan Tannehill has had very strong stretches with the franchise, but Tennessee might also be in the market for another veteran option this offseason. And the Titans quietly have some exciting young players to work with including Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips, and Chigoziem Okonkwo.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This ranking is with the assumption that Tom Brady does not return to Tampa Bay, as they might be No. 1 if Brady is back with the Bucs. But without Brady, Tampa still has Chris Godwin and Mike Evans at receiver along with running back Rachaad White and tight end Cade Otton coming off promising rookie campaigns. The offensive line just must find a way to improve—staying healthier might help there. A common theme for the first few teams with offensive coordinator openings is their offensive lines struggled in 2021, which is obviously a recipe for frustration for an entire team.
6. Washington Commanders
Despite missing time with a hamstring injury, first-round pick Jahan Dotson caught seven touchdowns as a rookie while averaging 14.9 yards per reception. He and Terry McLaurin should form an awesome receiving duo for the next handful of years, and I’d like the idea of building an offense around those two. Running back Brian Robinson Jr. also showed good things as a rookie and can help set the tone for the entire team. The offensive line could use some work, and quarterback remains a question mark. But looking at it from a roster-building perspective, I’d be doing what I can to move up in the draft and get the magician-like Alabama quarterback Bryce Young to form one of the most exciting young cores in the NFL.
5. New York Jets
Offensive line issues were a theme in the bottom half of the offensive coordinator opening rankings, but that should not be a problem for the Jets when they get Alijah Vera-Tucker and a potentially determined Mekhi Becton back in 2023. He’s been under fire a ton in the media especially, but former No. 2 pick Zach Wilson has exciting qualities at quarterback, as does Mike White—and a veteran option like Aaron Rodgers is almost certainly being considered by the Jets right now. Running back Breece Hall looked like a stud before his season-ending knee injury as a rookie, and fellow draft classmate Garrett Wilson matched expectations in Year 1. I also remain drawn to the talent level of receiver Elijah Moore.
4. Baltimore Ravens
I’m not saying he’s a top-tier pocket passer, but from his time in Bobby Petrino’s offense at Louisville I’ve always thought Lamar Jackson could play like more of a “pro style” quarterback, with the insanely gifted natural ability as a runner as a huge added bonus. I was actually a little surprised how heavily the Ravens leaned into Jackson’s rushing ability—while not adding a ton at receiver—early in his career. All that’s to say I think it could be fun to structure more of a traditional offense around Jackson if the Ravens are willing to commit to adding more at receiver. And worst-case scenario this is a team that can run the football. There’s also the concern Baltimore might ultimately trade Jackson this offseason, but I’m assuming the offensive coordinator will have a say in that or at least an idea of the situation before taking the job.
3. Los Angeles Rams
Injuries had a hand in it, but we are back to a team that had offensive line issues in 2022. Still, the idea of an offensive coordinator getting to work for one of the most brilliant minds in the game in Sean McVay must be appealing. Former assistants under McVay that have gone on to secure head coaching gigs include Zac Taylor, Matt LaFleur, Brandon Staley (as defensive coordinator), and Kevin O’Connell. And LA is still a team with an ultimate weapon in All-Pro Cooper Kupp at receiver. One downside might be that McVay runs the show, so coordinators that 100% want to call the plays might prefer to coordinate elsewhere despite the opportunity to learn from the Super Bowl winner.
2. New England Patriots
The Patriots could certainly be a bit lower than this in the rankings, but like the chance to work for McVay, working for Bill Belichick—arguably the greatest coach and the top defensive mind in the history of the sport—should lead to massive individual growth. New England is one of the NFL’s top organizations, and we’ve seen assistants can make a great home there. Belichick is showing no signs of slowing down, but long-term, it appears Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick should do a fantastic job with the defense—and an OC that does a nice job can probably remain with the franchise for years. After a down second season, trying to re-elevate quarterback Mac Jones would be a good task to take on, too.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
Finally, the offensive coordinator opening for the Chargers became supremely attractive when it came open last week. The chance to work with Justin Herbert alone is enticing, but this is an offense loaded with talent including a plus offensive line. I’m as big of a fan of Mike Williams as anyone, Keenan Allen is one of the game’s most reliable receivers, and Austin Ekeler has proven to be an elite touchdown-maker. Also, while most would agree it’s not the same as working with Belichick, former college quarterback Brandon Staley also has a mind for the offensive side of the ball, so a promising collaboration could potentially be formed there.