For 24 teams across the league, the 2019 NFL offseason is already here and after eight NFL head coaching vacancies opened after the season there are now just three remaining.
The Green Bay Packers have locked in on Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur as their next head coach and the Denver Broncos are set on hiring Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. The Browns will promote offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to be their head coach and all three of them will be first-time NFL head coaches in 2019 after solid careers as NFL assistants.
Meanwhile, Bruce Arians will come out of the CBS broadcast booth to assume head coaching responsibilities with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arians is 66 years old and has had some health concerns, but he's one of the most respected offensive minds of the last 25 years and Tampa Bay hopes he can get the most out of Jameis Winston.
Despite being fired by Texas Tech and having no NFL coaching experience of any kind, Kliff Kingsbury will be the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals as they look to get the most out of Josh Rosen with an up-tempo offense. That leaves the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins as the three remaining teams without a head coach.
Sportsbook BetDSI is offering odds as to who will occupy remaining NFL head coaching vacancies on Opening Day 2019. Let's break down this list of contenders.
New York Jets head coach in Week 1 of 2019 reg. season
Mike McCarthy -150
Jim Caldwell +200
Adam Gase +250
Kliff Kingsbury +500
Eric Bieniemy +750
Todd Monken +1000
Kris Richard +1500
Cincinnati Bengals head coach in Week 1 of 2019 reg. season
Darrin Simmons +250
Todd Monken +300
Hue Jackson +400
Vance Joseph +400
Zac Taylor +500
Bill Lazor +500
Shane Waldron +750
Eric Bieniemy +1000
Miami Dolphins head coach in Week 1 of 2019 reg. season
John Harbaugh +250
Kris Richard +300
Darren Rizzi +350
Jim Harbaugh +400
Dennis Allen +700
Eric Bieniemy +1000
Brian Flores +1000
All of these openings are compelling on their own fronts, but the name that jumps out here is John Harbaugh as the favorite to coach Miami next season with +250 odds. Harbaugh is still the head coach in Baltimore and is coming off an AFC North championship run with a rookie quarterback installed the last seven games of the regular season.
However, people think that the Ravens need to hire a coach who can cater to Lamar Jackson's unique skill set and Harbaugh is being dangled as trade bait. The former Super Bowl champion head coach is 104-72 in his 11-year career as an NFL head coach and he's only had one losing season during that span.
In New York, it is starting to look like a foregone conclusion that the Jets will hire former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, as he's getting -150 odds from BetDSI. An apparently strained relationship with Aaron Rodgers and a brutal season in Green Bay led to McCarthy's ousting, but the chance to work with Sam Darnold could give him another 10 years or more of strong quarterback play to build a franchise around.
Then there are the Bengals, who may be waiting for the next round of the playoffs to play out before making a decision. Cincinnati just spent 16 seasons with Marvin Lewis as their head coach, and while Lewis helped make one of the worst franchises in the NFL respectable, you'd think they'd want to go in a different direction in an effort to try to achieve some playoff success.
However, Darrin Simmons is listed as the favorite at +250 to win the job. Simmons has been Lewis' special-teams coordinator for the last 16 years. The upside is that he's got all that experience as an NFL assistant and is still only 45, but the obvious downside is that not a lot might change by replacing Lewis with one of his long-time cohorts.