Broncos coaching search: Ranking the NFL’s five openings

Drew Lock (3) of the Denver ...

Asked by The Denver Post on Monday morning to rank the five current NFL head-coaching openings (not including Las Vegas), a league source put the Broncos at the top, followed by Miami, Chicago, Minnesota and Jacksonville. A look at each of the openings:

1. Broncos
AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostDrew Lock (3) of the Denver Broncos reacts to throwing an incompletion to Jerry Jeudy (10) on third down against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021.

Record: 7-10 (last in AFC West).

Previous coach: Vic Fangio (19-30 in three years).

Last playoff appearance: 2015 (won Super Bowl).

Who’s making the decision: General manager George Paton, hired last January when John Elway moved into the role of president of football operations.

2022 salary cap space: $45,377,582 (10th in NFL).

2022 draft picks (rounds 1-3): Five (one in the first round and two apiece in rounds 2-3).

Quarterback situation: Unsettled … as usual. Teddy Bridgewater, 7-7 as the starter this year, is a free agent, and Drew Lock, the starter in 2020 who went 0-3 to finish this year, will be in the final season of his rookie contract.

Pluses: Paton is widely respected around the league for his communication and player evaluation skills. … Broncos have a wealth of draft capital (11 picks) to either acquire a quarterback or stock the depth chart. … 2020 first-round cornerback Pat Surtain II is a foundational player on defense. … Top receivers Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy are under contract for at least the next three years (including Jeudy’s 2024 option).

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Minuses: Broncos are looking at a sixth different Week 1 quarterback is as many years. … No owner is in place and team could be up for sale before new coach’s first offseason practice.

2. Miami
Adrian Kraus, The Associated PressMiami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Record: 9-8 (third in AFC East).

Previous coach: Brian Flores (24-25 in three years).

Last playoff appearance: 2016 (lost in wild card round).

Who’s making the decision: Owner Stephen Ross and general manager Chris Grier.

2022 salary cap space: $74,266,282 (first in NFL).

2022 draft picks (rounds 1-3): Three (single picks in each of the first three rounds).

Quarterback situation: So-so. Tua Tagovailoa will be entering age-24 season with career statistics of 27 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, an 88.8 passer rating and 13-8 record.

Pluses: League-high available cap space combined with no state income tax and south Florida location should make Dolphins attractive to free agents. … Rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle caught 104 passes for 1,015 yards. … Defense had 47 sacks this year.

Minuses: Dolphins are in same division as Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and New England quarterback Mac Jones. … Franchise hasn’t won playoff game since January 2001, so current leadership group has no track record of success.

3. Chicago
Charles Rex Arbogast, The Associated PressChicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields warms up before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Chicago.

Record: 6-11 (third …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

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