Football

NFL insiders speculate potential landing spots for Josh McDaniels, Jerod Mayo

McDaniels and Mayo are expected to be candidates for head coaching vacancies in the upcoming weeks.

Josh McDaniels Patriots
Josh McDaniels could coaching somewhere else next season. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo won’t just be busy with creating game plans for the Patriots during their playoff run in the upcoming weeks. Both coaches might also be busy preparing for their next jobs.

McDaniels and Mayo are reportedly expected to interview for head coaching jobs around the NFL once the regular season comes to an end.

McDaniels has been a popular name in the coaching carousel ever since he re-joined the Patriots as an offensive coordinator in 2012. But the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are one of two teams currently with a head coach opening, haven’t sent in an interview request for McDaniels.

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NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport isn’t surprised that McDaniels isn’t a candidate for the Jaguars job because he believes McDaniels will want a specific situation if he accepts a job somewhere else.

“Would he go to a place that already has a GM? I would have my doubts there,” Rapoport said on WEEI’s “Gresh and Keefe.” “If he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it his way. He’s going to do it properly. He’s going to do it with the right structure and personnel. I would imagine he’d go to a place where there’s not a current GM in place. The Raiders would make some sense. We’ll see what happens with the Vikings.”

The Raiders are the other team that currently has a head coach vacancy after firing Jon Gruden amidst an e-mail scandal in October. As Raiders GM Mike Mayock was hired by Gruden, it’s possible to think that the Raiders could move on from Mayock too even after a winning season.

As for the Vikings, they still have Mike Zimmer employed as head coach. But rumors have surfaced that Zimmer could be fired once the regular season ends on Sunday as the Vikings will miss the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons. However, longtime general manager Rick Spielman is expected to stay with the team, CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora reported Saturday.

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Both the Raiders and Vikings employ decent options at quarterback as Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins rank in the top 10 in passing yards. But both veteran quarterbacks have been in their current situations for a while and haven’t brought much success. Carr’s been with the Raiders for eight seasons and has made the playoffs just once. He could make it there a second time if the Raiders beat the Chargers on Sunday. Since signing the first fully guaranteed contract in 2018, Cousins has only made the playoffs with the Vikings once in four seasons.

Since getting fired as the Broncos head coach in 2010, McDaniels has been a finalist for multiple openings. Following the 2016 season, McDaniels was a finalist for the 49ers head coach opening and reportedly would’ve brought Nick Caserio to be the team’s general manager. San Francisco ultimately hired Kyle Shanahan for the job with John Lynch becoming the team’s GM.

A year later, McDaniels actually accepted an offer to be the Colts head coach. But he changed his mind even after hiring assistants to join him in Indianapolis, opting to stay in New England instead.

Caserio could be making a play to bring McDaniels to him this time around. Now the Texans general manager, Caserio “has an idea who his next (and long-term) coach would be,” according to MMQB’s Albert Breer. Breer mentions McDaniels as one of the obvious candidates that come to mind. However, Breer notes that Caserio “isn’t in a huge rush” to get the Texans’ next head coach.

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McDaniels didn’t interview for the Texans gig last season, which eventually went to David Culley. The first-year coach is 4-12 this season, leading to some speculation that Houston could make a change despite its situation.

As for Mayo, Breer mentions that he could be a candidate for the Bears – who are reportedly expected to fire Matt Nagy at the end of the regular season.

 “’I’ve heard a few younger candidates that project as leaders, like Patriots LBs coach Jerod Mayo and Colts DC Matt Eberflus, will be in the mix, too. (Obviously, for these types, a plan for developing Justin Fields will be important,” Breer wrote of the Bears’ looming head coaching search.

Mayo’s been on the Patriots’ coaching staff since 2019 and interviewed for the Eagles’ head coaching job last year.

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