HomeFootball DirtTop 10 potential NFL coaching candidates for 2025, featuring Bill Belichick

Top 10 potential NFL coaching candidates for 2025, featuring Bill Belichick

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The 2024 NFL head coaching cycle ended on Thursday with the Washington Commanders reportedly hiring Dallas Cowboys coach Dan Quinn as their next head coach. Eight NFL franchises made coaching changes this winter, and even more teams will undoubtedly undergo the same process once the 2024 season ends. Unless Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid retires after the Super Bowl, NFL coaching candidates who didn’t land a job this cycle will have to wait until 2025 to land a job. Fortunately for them, there will be options. Franchises like the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets could all hypothetically make coaching changes next winter based on how their 2023 seasons went. As we survey, we’ve picked out 10 former and current NFL coaches who will likely be at the top of teams’ interview lists next hiring cycle.

Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Belichick not landing a head coaching job on this latest carousel after his departure from the New England Patriots was a bit of a surprise, and it’s hard to gauge what his market will look like in 2025. While we’re not exactly sure what the six-time Super Bowl winner will do during the 2024 season (maybe television?), we’d assume he’d be eager to get back into coaching for a team in 2025 if someone wants to hire him. There will probably be at least some interest, but that may hinge on Belichick’s willingness to cede general manager duties and just focus on the Xs and Os. However, it’s hard to imagine a 2025 NFL coaching cycle without Belichick playing a part, even if he still doesn’t get a job. We’ll just have to see what happens in a year.

Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports Like Belichick, it was a bit of a surprise to see Vrabel on the outside looking in after his accomplished run with the Tennessee Titans. Only 48, we’re guessing the Patriots legend will have his fair share of suitors during next year’s coaching cycle. He’s proven he can win with a franchise like Tennessee, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he’s one of the first coaches hired next January. He’ll be immediately available for interviews next January and will undoubtedly have teams very interested in talking with him. However, we do wonder if the Arkon native pulls a Jim Harbaugh and heads back to the college ranks if the Ohio State job comes open next winter. Time will tell on that front.

Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK Everyone thought Johnson would easily land a head coaching job during this cycle, but he opted to stay with the Detroit Lions for another year to make another Super Bowl run after Sunday’s difficult NFC title game defeat. Johnson is probably the best offensive coordinator in football right now, and he’s going to have his fair share of suitors once he decided to leave Detroit in earnest. It’s just a matter of when, not if, his time comes as an NFL head coach (unless the Lions offense completely falls apart in 2024).

Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Wilks could be the next San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator to land a head coaching job, joining former coordinators like DeMeco Ryans and Robert Saleh. To boost his candidacy, Wilks has head coaching experience from his lone season with the Arizona Cardinals and his time in 2022 as the Carolina Panthers’ interim coach. He fielded a Super Bowl-caliber defense in San Francisco this past winter, and it might not be too much longer for him to get a second chance at a head coaching job on the 2025 carousel. He’s more than deserving.

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith Another one of the hot candidates on this coaching circuit who returned to his post, Slowik has a lot going for him to land a job in 2025. He’s a successful branch of the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree, he’s helped revive a dormant Houston Texans offense and he’s working with one of the NFL’s rising stars in quarterback C.J. Stroud. While Slowik didn’t land a job this time out, we’d expect him to heavily factor into future opportunities next January.

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman Evero is one of the brightest defensive minds in the NFL, as his ability to elevate defenses on lackluster teams has become his calling card. The former Broncos defensive coordinator interviewed for open jobs during this coaching cycle, but he didn’t ultimately land one and is expected to return to the Carolina Panthers for a second season as its defensive coordinator. If he continues to do stellar work with Carolina, don’t be surprised if he lands one of the available jobs next winter.

Detroit Free Press The Detroit Lions lucked out by not only keeping Johnson during this head coaching cycle. As Detroit’s highly respected defensive coordinator, Glenn earned raves with his work resurrecting the Lions defense, and he interviewed for jobs during this head coaching cycle. It’s very possible another strong season for the Lions could send both of their coordinators off to head coaching roles next winter, kind of like the Philadelphia Eagles did after the 2022 season.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Weaver interviewed with a handful of NFL teams during this coaching cycle, and we could see him following former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald as the next Ravens assistant hired by another franchise as a head coach. He’s a former player with lots of experience coaching for various franchises like the Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills, and that Ravens defense sunk some of the league’s top offenses this past season. Continued dominance on that side of the ball could really help Weaver establish himself as a strong candidate next winter.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Smith didn’t get nearly as much head coaching consideration as we expected this past coaching cycle, but that could change in 2025. Mike McDaniel’s right-hand man in running the explosive Miami Dolphins offense could get much more attention next year if the team continues lighting up opposing defenses this fall. While he doesn’t call plays, that didn’t stop a guy like Brian Callahan from landing the Tennessee Titans job after working under Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor as his offensive coordinator. Maybe Smith will follow in Callahan’s footsteps next winter?

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Everywhere Graham goes, he seems to field a heck of a defense. However, he’s never really been attached to a Super Bowl-caliber team as its defensive coordinator. Even still, he’s bound to get head coaching interviews eventually, and a strong season with the Las Vegas Raiders as their defensive coordinator this fall could finally land one of the game’s best defensive coaches a flurry of interviews and possibly a job. Antonio Pierce’s Raiders revival last fall was inspired, and Graham could be the next coach to benefit from that if Las Vegas succeeds in 2024. AP Photo/Ryan Sun A big year with the Philadelphia Eagles as the team’s new offensive coordinator could finally get Kellen Moore a head coaching opportunity after years of sound performance with calling plays. Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores should get another head coaching job one of these days, especially if his Vikings defense keep impressing as it did in 2023. Former Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been long speculated to land a head coaching job somewhere. Could 2025 finally be the year? We’ll have to see where he lands in 2024 first. Could Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing be a breakout candidate in 2024 as he leads a Cardinals offense with quarterback Kyler Murray at the charge? He’s our biggest sleeper candidate for the 2025 coaching cycle. Part of us wonders if Texans quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson could skip the coordinators step altogether and land a head coaching job because of his work with Stroud. Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich could be a popular candidate because of his work with rising quarterback Jordan Love and the Green Bay offense as a whole. New Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen did some fantastic work with the Atlanta Falcons in 2023. Another strong year with a new team could earn him some looks next January. While his AFC championship performance wasn’t his best, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken will likely get additional looks next winter if Baltimore has a successful 2024 season.

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