The NFL’s Black Monday is almost here, and a number of high-profile coaches are about to get pink slips after disappointing seasons.
The day after the season ends traditionally brings a number of coach firings, as teams that trudged through the final stretch of the season unload their ineffective coaches. This year promises to be particularly active, with some big-name coaches getting the boot.
The biggest NFL Black Monday firing will likely be Jim Harbaugh, the San Francisco 49ers coach who appears to be headed for the University of Michigan. Though Harbaugh turned around the franchise and led the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship Game appearances (including one Super Bowl appearance), locker room rifts and disagreements with team management will likely lead to his exit.
Sources say that Harbaugh has already come to a deal with the University of Michigan, with an official announcement of his hiring coming on Tuesday.
But Jim Harbaugh is far from the only successful coach getting tossed out on NFL Black Monday. The New York Jets appear to be preparing to fire Rex Ryan, who also turned around his franchise, taking the Jets to the AFC Championship game in his first two years.
But since then, Ryan has led a team in decline, missing the playoffs four straight times and with no clear future at several key positions, namely quarterback.
Marc Trestman appears to be on the way out of the Chicago Bears, as his entire staff is expected to be fired after the season finale against the Minnesota Vikings.
Trestman has led the team to a 5-10 record including a four-game losing streak to end the year.
“I won’t characterize it. I’ve addressed that. When you’re 5-10, things are going to swirl,” Trestman said. “There’s going to be a lot of noise out there. I’ve tended to focus on my purpose, which is to do the best I can to get the team ready to play. At this point, we’re 5-10. It hasn’t been good enough this time around, no doubt about it. I think everybody, coaches included, we’ve done our best. We’ve done our best all week. We’ll continue to play through it, fight through it for three hours on Sunday and stay focused on the things that we obviously can control, and that’s this football game.”
There could be a handful of other firings on NFL Black Monday, including Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons. Doug Marrone, head coach of the Buffalo Bills, could also lose his job, despite leading the team to its best record in a decade. New Bills owner Terry Pegula is expected to make sweeping changes, which could include a new head coach.