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Ranking Head Coaching Positions Available (2023)



(Image Credit: Grace Hollars/USA Today Sports)


Written by: Nicholas Mullick

Twitter: @NicholasMullick


It has been a fantastic few weeks of Playoff Football in the NFL. However no matter what happens in the playoffs, I still wonder about the Head Coaching Vacancies for teams that did not make the playoffs. As of January 26rd, 2022, the only coaching role that has been filled is the Carolina Panthers as they have hired Frank Reich. The current vacancies are between the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts. So, I decided to dive deep on each Head Coaching Vacancy and rank them from worst to best.


4. Arizona Cardinals

No doubt in my mind that the Cardinals are the worst coaching vacancy available right now. Yes I know they have their GM in Monti Ossenfort, but there is a ton of cons in this job. First off is that the Cardinals are going to enter rebuild mode by blowing everything up. They pretty much have too as I don’t see the Cardinals winning with this aging core. Not only is DE/EDGE JJ Watt retiring, but it looks like WR AJ Green maybe heading the retirement route too.


Not only will they be gone, but it looks like DeAndre Hopkins is going to be traded soon too.

Another big issue is going to be at QB. Not only has Kyler Murray had a down year this year, but he tore his ACL at the end of the year. Knowing how ACL’s heal he might not play a majority or the entire 2023 season. Watching how Colt McCoy played hurt and Trace McSorley playing awful is a massive problem.


Draft capitalwise is intriguing for Arizona, especially as they have the 3rd Overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. In total they have 8 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and 6 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.


2023 NFL Draft Capital

- One First (Own)

- One Second (Own)

- Two Thirds (Own & Compensatory Pick)

- One Fourth (Own)

- One Fifth (Compensatory Pick)

- Two Sixth (Own & Compensatory Pick)


2024 NFL Draft Capital

  • One FIrsts (Own)

  • One Second (Own)

  • One Thirds (Own)

  • One Fourth (Own)

  • One Fifth (Own)

  • One Seventh (Own)


Compared to the other jobs this role for the head coach is going to be a tough one as it looks like it will be a longer rebuild here. Say what you want about how poorly run the Texans are, but at least they have draft capital and youth, but the Cardinals don’t have the youth on the team. The 2023 NFL Season will likely be a long one for the Cardinals and I would not be surprised if this position was the last vacancy filled.


3. Denver Broncos

Well now that was a disastrous 2022 season for the Denver Broncos. With how disappointing it was Nathanial Hackett has unsurprisingly lost his job mid season. I mean he should have been fired Week 5, but hey better late than never.


However there are still problems with this team. Mainly on offense and you can easily point to QB Russell Wilson. He has suffered massive levels of regression this season. You could say coaching is a big reason why, but Wilson just has not looked the same player. Not only that but he has been a locker room distraction all season. Remember the whole plane fiasco where he worked out in the middle of a flight in front of teammates, while they were sleeping.

Even if the Broncos want to get rid of him, the problem is that the contract that he signed is going to be very difficult to get out of. Just looking at his cap hit below is making me want to puke.

However, in defense of Wilson, his o-line was absolutely terrible this season and I think with a competent coach he could be fixable. They need to at least restructure this o-line and see if new coaching can fix wilson before making the decision to move on from him. This puts pressure and a massive challenge to whoever the new hire will become.


Also Denver does not have the rich draft capital with the bad season as remembered there 1st and 2nd Round pick is Seattle Seahawks property due to the Russell Wilson trade. Luckily they got the 49ers 1st from the Bradley Chubb trade. In total they have 7 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and 7 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.


2023 NFL Draft Capital

  • One Firsts (San Francisco 49ers)

  • Two Third (Own & Indianapolis Colts)

  • One Fourth (Own)

  • One Fifth (Own)

  • One Sixth (Pittsburgh Steelers)

  • One Seventh (Minnesota Vikings)


2024 NFL Draft Capital

  • One Firsts (Own)

  • One Second (Own)

  • One Third(Own)

  • Two Fifth (Own & New York Jets)

  • Two Sevenths (Own & Los Angeles Rams)


The one thing that is very attractive with taking this job is that Denver’s defense is really good. Even when they traded Bradley Chubb during the deadline they looked like a Top 10 defense. The focus will be on restructuring the offense and it will be interesting to see who will be hired in this role. It is clear there are better vacancy head coaching wise over the Broncos.


2. Houston Texans

I get why many are ranking the Texans at the Number one vacancy when looking at the draft capital that they have stockpiled. In 2023 they have a total of 12 draft picks and in 2024 they have 10 Picks in 2024.


2023 NFL Draft Capital

  • Two FIrsts (Own & Cleveland Browns)

  • One Second (Own)

  • Two Thirds (Own & Cleveland Browns)

  • One Fourth (Own)

  • One Fifth (Own)

  • Four Sixth Round Picks (New Orleans, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and Minnesota Vikings)

  • One Seventh (Seattle)


2024 NFL Draft Capital

  • Two Firsts (Own & Cleveland Browns)

  • One Second (Own)

  • One Third(Own)

  • Two Fourths (Own & Cleveland Browns)

  • One Fifth (Own)

  • Three Sevenths (Own, Kansas City, New Orleans Saints)


The thing is that they will add to that stockpile of draft picks as it looks like Brandon Cooks wants out of Houston and they should get multiple picks for him.

Then again they for some reason did not trade him during the deadline last season was a bit confusing. Even if he is on a bad contract Cooks has been a fantastic receiver for the Texans and has sort of been a hidden Gem in the NFL on a bad team.


There is youth on this team that can intrigue a coach. Especially RB Daemon Pierce who is their best draft choice from the 2022 NFL Draft. While CB Derrick Stingley was not great last season, he showed flashes and with another year of development could get better. When John Metchie comes back to play this year it will be interesting to see how he performs.


The one thing I can really see a coach holding back on going here is the way the Texans have operated. They have been a mess the past few seasons having 3 head coaches in 3 years and kept Jack Easterby employed for way too long. Also there is the unknown regarding GM Nick Caserio long term job security. Heck there was even a report that Caserio was almost fired on Black Monday.

On a side note, can we please stop using that photo of Caserio above when discussing him. I don’t care if you're not a fan of Caserio, don’t mock people with how they look. I even said this when Adam Gase became the head coach of the New York Jets and had the googly eyes. As a Jets fan I hated the hiring, but the jokes with Gase were ridiculous.


The point is that the pro’s and con’s are 50/50 here. The Pro is the rich draft capital and youth on the team. The cons are the organization being a mess, unknown if the GM will be there next year, and uncertainty on if the newly hired coach Job Security will be safe.


1. Indianapolis Colts

Many will disagree with me here, but I am very intrigued with the Colts Head Coaching Job vacancy right now. There is a lot that can attract many towards taking this role. Their defense ignoring the injuries was pretty solid last season and it is clear the Colts are waking up realizing the constant rotational door at QB is not going to work. Their 1st round pick is likely going to be used on a QB whether it is Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, Bryce Young, or CJ Stroud that is going to be attractive developing them.


What is also attractable is their salary cap as they can stretch their cap space to around 60-80 million dollars when restructuring contracts and cutting a few players. They even have a solid draft capital with 8 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and 7 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.


2023 NFL Draft Capital

  • One First (Own)

  • One Second (Own)

  • One Third (Washington Commanders)

  • One Fourth (Own)

  • One Fifth (Own)

  • One Sixth (Buffalo Bills)

  • Two Seventh (Own & Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


2024 NFL Draft Capital

  • One First (Own)

  • One Second (Own)

  • One Third (Own)

  • One Fourth (Own)

  • One Fifth (Own)

  • One Sixth (Own)

  • One Seventh (Own)

The Colts currently have 20.5 Million dollars in cap space right now, but they can stretch it out to around 65 million dollars, If they cut Matt Ryan and restructure contracts. They should be spenders in the offseason which is a benefit.

There is a con where the Colts will just blow it up and start fresh. At least it looks like Chris Ballard will be the GM for a few more years where with the Texans we have no idea if Caserio will be here at the end of next season.





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