(Image credit: Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
This is a day in Football that I don't like at all. That day is called Black Monday. Especially as it is a time where coaches and managers lose their jobs in the NFL. In this article let's see who has lost their jobs on Black Monday.
Fired Head Coaches
Matt Nagy - Chicago Bears (2018-2021)
The most “shocking’’ move made on Black Monday. Matt Nagy has officially been fired from the Chicago Bears. Honestly, this is a year too late as the Bears last season lucked their way into a playoff spot last season coaching aside. But Matt Nagy proved that he had not learned at all when it comes to player development. Nagy failed to develop QB Mitchell Trubisky and was making similar mistakes with Justin Fields. It is important to note that Justin Fields looked like a more competent and better player when Matt Nagy was not on the sidelines due to testing positive for Covid-19. If Nagy was kept as the coach for next season then the Chicago Bears would have completely ruined QB Justin Fields. The locker room and play calling was also a complete mess under his tenure. I do see Nagy potentially getting a job as an offensive coordinator or as a quarterback coach in the NFL as he is a part of Andy Reid’s coaching tree.
Vic Fangio - Denver Broncos (2019-2021)
Not a complete surprise that the Denver Broncos decided to part ways with Fangio here. The locker room was a complete mess during his tenure and was a terrible in-game manager. Fangio also totally mismanaged the QB position, especially when developing QB Drew Lock. It did not help that he kept putting in a beaten-up Teddy Bridgewater at QB which also did not help the offense. The only thing I will say is that the defense definitely got better in time. To be honest Fangio just is not suited to be an NFL Head coach. I don’t think Fangio will be out of a job for very long as he will be a very high candidate for teams to hire as their defensive coordinator.
Mike Zimmer - Minnesota Vikings (2014-2021)
I kept saying that Mike Zimmer needed to make the playoffs if he was going to save his job for next season. Unfortunately, the Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs and as a result, the Vikings decided to part ways with Zimmer. But let's be real with ourselves this move was inevitable to happen. In fact, I am shocked the Vikings did not let them go once their contracts expired during the 2020 offseason. I hate saying this but Mike Zimmer was a big reason that the Vikings were held back from taking the next step. He was way too conservative with many games throughout his tenure and did not have a lot of playoff success excluding going to the NFC Championship during the 2017 season and going to the Divisional Round in the 2019 season but you can thank the New Orleans Saints for how unprepared they were. The game has clearly passed Mike Zimmer by and he is currently 65 years old. So who knows what Mike Zimmer will be doing during the 2022 NFL Season.
Brian Flores - Miami Dolphins (2019-2021)
When I heard that the Dolphins fired Brian Flores I honestly thought it was a joke. But then a half an hour passed and it became official. What are the Miami Dolphins doing making this move? Flores in my opinion is one of the best coaches in the AFC Conference. He is an excellent coach and gave the Dolphins more wins than they should have had with horrible talent. You can tell that the players fight and believe their head coach. The Dolphins came back and were on the brink of a playoff spot and the Dolphins even finished with a winning record. In fact, I can’t remember the last time the Miami Dolphins even had back-to-back winning seasons. This season proved how good of a coach Brian Flores and this move just makes absolutely no sense for the Dolphins to make. Any hire this team makes at head coach is going to be a complete downgrade, I’m sorry.
You know what else makes this worse, Deshaun Watson wanted to come here because of Brian Flores as the head coach. This fire just took them out of the running to get Deshaun Watson. The one question I have to ask is simple: Why Is Chris Grier still the GM of the Miami Dolphins? He has been through three different coaching changes from Joe Philbin, Adam Gase, and now Brian Flores. Plus Chris Grier has made awful moves throughout his tenure as the GM with the terrible signings and handlings of many Free Agency classes thus resulting in mismanaging the salary cap. The awful drafting included wasting a 1st round pick on Noah Igbinoghene. He has been the bigger issue with the Miami Dolphins struggle than Brian Flores has. But this is the Miami Dolphins and I have no clue why they truly got rid of Flores. Brian Flores will absolutely get a job as a head coach next season and I would be shocked if he does not.
Fired Offensive Coordinators
Anthony Lynn - Detroit Lions (2021)
I knew Anthony Lynn’s time was done the moment that his play-calling duties were stripped from him during the Lions Bye Week. Plus there were clearly issues between both Anthony Lynn and head coach Dan Campbell both wanted to run the offense differently. Once Lynn’s play-calling was stripped the Lions offense got a lot better and it resulted in the Lions tying with the incompetent Pittsburgh Steelers, beating the Arizona Cardinals, and beating the Minnesota Vikings. I doubt Lynn will be an offensive coordinator on a team next season and might resurface as a position coach.
Pat Shurmur - Denver Broncos (2020-2021)
Once Fangio got fired there was no chance that the Broncos were going to bring back Pat Shurmur as the offensive coordinator. I think no matter what Shurmur was likely out of a job this season due to his poor play calling and mismanaging Drew Lock. This is going to be a fresh start for the Broncos and I don’t think this will be the last we see of Shurmur as a coach. He could easily get a job as a position coach in the NFL.
Dave Gettleman - New York Giants (2018-2021)
I am writing this part of the article in the middle of the New York Giants game against the Washington Football team. It has not come out yet but I think that it is clear that the last Giants game will be Dave Gettelman's last one as the GM. Possibly his last game as an NFL Executive. Which if it is, I wish Dave Gettleman a happy retirement and it is well deserved after his long career in the NFL. The Giants also had Dave Gettleman surrounded by his friends and family before his final game as GM plus had him take photos with them. My question is why wasn’t this also done for when Jerry Reese was the GM of the Giants? Jerry Reese was with the organization for 23 years, Won two Super Bowls with the Giants as GM, and was fired in the middle of the 2017 season.
Rick Spielman - Minnesota Vikings (2012-2021)
This was another move that had to be made as well for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings getting rid of Spielman was also unsurprising to me as well. Especially with the way he had handled the 2020 offseason. Signing declining players like S Harrison Smith and DT Michael Pierce to long-term overpaid contracts. He also made awful signings that backfired like CB Patrick Peterson, DL Dalvin Tomlinson, CB Brashad Breeland, and DE/EDGE Stephen Weatherly. The Vikings also for some reason decided to extend Kirk Cousins and give him another fully guaranteed contract that all but destroyed their salary cap. Even some of his latest trades made no sense like the DE/EDGE Yannick Ngakoue saga, Trading down in the 2021 NFL Draft in a pick that turned to Alijah Vera-Tucker (Thank you very much as a Jets fan), Flop draft choices like CB Jeff Gladney and CB Mike Hughes in the 1st round, and acquiring Chris Herndon (Again as a New York Jets fan, thanks for the free 4th round pick). Heck, he even lost a draft pick for a salary cap violation.
Ryan Pace - Chicago Bears (2015-2021)
Bears fans were in a panic as there were rumors that Pace would not be fired but promoted to a higher position in the Chicago Bears organization. But then the news came of the Bears making the move to fire Ryan Pace as the GM of the Chicago Bears. This is unsurprising to see and no offense to Ryan Pace but there are a lot of lowlights to Ryan Pace’s tenure. First, he decided to give Mike Glennon a massive overpay of a 3 year 45 million dollar contract (15 million dollars per year). Second, the whole Mitchell Trubisky trade-up was just a complete disaster. Especially trading up for a guy who was going to be available at #3. Plus Pace had the opportunity to draft Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes. Fun Fact one of the picks the Bears traded turned into RB Alvin Kamara. Next was the awful Free Agent signings he made like DE/EDGE Robert Quinn, WR Taylor Gabriel, TE Jimmy Graham, TE Trey Burton (No I don’t know why Pace gave a third-string tight end a 4 year 32 million dollar contract), TE Dion Sims, DE/EDGE Pernell McPhee, and WR Markus Wheaton. Next up is trading for QB Nick Foles was a ridiculous move as he has one of the worst contracts in the NFL and could have gotten a draft pick to take his awful contract through an Osweiler effect move. There are more bad moves made but this is just a summary of some of the lowlights. This was an unsurprising move made by the Bears and it should have honestly been made years ago.