As we get ready to celebrate tonight, a number of NFL coaches and execs will begin 2013 out of work. Specifically, seven head coaches and five general managers were left to pack up their boxes on Monday.
The dominoes began to fall Sunday night with the report that the Eagles had fired 14-year head coach Andy Reid. That was followed by news that the Chargers' Norv Turner, the Browns' Pat Shurmur, the Bills' Chan Gailey, the Bears' Lovie Smith, the Chiefs' Romeo Crennel and the Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt were all let go. The general managers who found themselves out of a job today were the Jets' Mike Tannenbaum, the Chargers' A.J. Smith, the Browns' Tom Heckert, the Cardinals' Rod Graves and the Jaguars' Gene Smith.
The Raiders fired first-year offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.
And more pink slips will be handed out in the coming days, and the rumor mill consisting of what may be next for these teams is already overloaded.
Those who won't be fired include Jets head coach Rex Ryan, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and Titans head coach Mike Munchak. The fates of Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey will be seen soon, but I think two of those three will be out of work.
Today's firings were expected to varying degrees, but it is still amazing that more than 20 percent of the league will begin next year with a new head coach. Everyone has basically known that Reid, Turner, Crennel have been dead men walking for weeks. Lovie Smith's ouster is probably the most surprising, but someone had to take the fall for that offense's failings over the past couple of seaons. New Browns owner Jimmy Haslem wants to bring in his own guys. Some of these men, certainly Reid, Turner and Whisenhunt, will find high-profile jobs for next season; some of them will probably be head coaches again, but the right calls for these teams were made today.
For a fantasy slant, we really won't know how these happenings affect the players on these teams until the replacements are hired. However, Darren McFadden 's value gets a boost immediately now that Knapp is gone. McFadden is a franchise player, but he clearly doesn't fit in a zone-blocking scheme, something that Knapp stubbornly stuck with through the entire season, and McFadden turned in an extremely disappointing stat line. The Raiders' next OC will need to make sure to structure his attack around the strengths of Oakland's best offensive player.