Black Monday is a sobering day in the NFL — coaches are fired, families will be uprooted, and changes are made throughout organizations across the league. We’ll be bringing you the latest NFL news and rumors as they happen, so keep coming back throughout the day. The information below is current as of 5:19 p.m. ET.
Latest Black Monday NFL News and Rumors
Shortly before 12 p.m. ET, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Arizona Cardinals have fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Just 10 months ago, he signed a contract extension through the 2027 season. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has been doing extensive research for the past several weeks, per numerous sources. Bidwill also said during his Monday press conference that QB Kyler Murray will have input on the next head coach.
The Cardinals also announced that general manager Seve Keim has decided to step away from his position to focus on his health. Thus far, they’ve requested permission to interview 49ers’ Director of Pro Personnel Ran Carthon, 49ers’ Assistant General Manager Adam Peters, Bears Assistant General Manager Ian Cunningham, and Titans Director of Player Personnel Monti Ossenfort.
Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees informed players this morning that he was retiring. NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reports that the Falcons expect to cast a wide net and search for their next defensive coordinator.
In other Falcons news, they named Greg Beadlers their new president. Rich McKay will remain CEO of the Falcons with continued oversight over football operations. Additionally, he will assume CEO duties for AMBSE, the parent company of the Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and MLS Atlanta United.
With the Panthers’ season now over, they’ll turn their attention to its head coaching search. FOX’s Jay Glazer reported that Harbaugh has already talked to Panthers owner David Tepper. Glazer also reported that they will interview former Colts head coach Frank Reich.
Additionally, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports that Jim Caldwell will be interviewing with the team today (Monday, Jan. 9).
On Monday morning, the Cleveland Browns announced that they have relieved defensive coordinator Joe Woods of his duties. The Browns gave up 331.5 yards per game and 22.4 points per game, which ranked them about the middle of the pack in the league.
Several hours later, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Browns have requested an interview with Patriots linebacker coach Jerod Mayo and former Dolphins head coach and current Steelers LB coach Brian Flores. They’ve also requested permission to interview Seahawks associate head coach for defense Sean Desai and former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz.
The Denver Broncos are going to be busy as they look for their next head coach. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports that they’re set to interview Jim Harbaugh this week and that they have requested permission to interview Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Rapoport also notes that Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will be a candidate for the job.
But all eyes will be on Sean Payton. Multiple reports, including this one from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, state that the Broncos have received permission from the New Orleans Saints to interview Payton for their head-coaching vacancy. Further, the two teams appear to understand and agree on what the trade compensation would look like. NFL rules state that Jan. 17 is the first date an in-person interview would be permitted.
There is no deal in place, but the Broncos are expected to meet the Saints’ asking price, which is rumored to be a first-round draft pick and more. Conversations are at their initial stages between the Broncos and Saints, but a prerequisite for the Saints granting permissions to teams to interview Payton was that the other team would need to agree to the compensation first.
Since Payton is under contract with the Saints, New Orleans controls his rights and, thus, will be a major player in the Payton sweepstakes. Here’s more on Payton and his coaching career.
Late Sunday evening, the Houston Texans announced that they fired head coach Lovie Smith. Smith follows another one-and-done head coach in Houston after David Culley was fired after the season last year. Houston was 3-13-1 under Smith, including a victory over the Colts in Week 18 that saw them lose the number one pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Thus far, the Texans have requested to interview the following: Eagles OC Shane Steichen, Lions OC Ben Johnson, 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans, Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon, and Broncos DC Ejiro Evero.
Here are our top five candidates to replace Lovie Smith in Houston, with Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon an early favorite to land the job.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Colts submitted requests to the Lions to interview defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson for their head coaching job. They’ve also requested permission to interview Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.
Per multiple reports, the Colts are expected to conduct a wide search for their next head coach. There is no word yet if interim HC Jeff Saturday will be interviewed.
Los Angeles Rams
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McVay’s future with the Rams is in doubt. Sources tell Schefter that McVay will take some time after Sunday’s regular-season games against the Seattle Seahawks to figure out if he will return for the 2023 season.
McVay has had several personal and professional circumstances arise in the past year, all of which are weighing on him during this process. McVay, at just 36 years old, would likely stun many by walking away.
FOX’s Jay Glazer said that many in the organization expect McVay to leave, and it won’t take too long after the conclusion of the regular season.
After winning the Super Bowl last year, the Rams were hit with a slew of injuries and do not have a first-round draft pick for the next several years. Plus, they are up against the 2023 salary cap, and changes to the coaching staff are expected. All of this will be in play as McVay considers his future.
If McVay walks away, the Rams will control his rights through the end of his contract, which is the end of the 2026 regular season.
New England Patriots
In a press conference earlier this morning, Bill Belichick announced that he’ll be back for his 24th season as the head coach of the New England Patriots. Belichick did not offer any hints about the future of his coordinators, especially on the offensive side with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.
“Every decision that we’ve made has always been with the intent to do the best thing for the football team,” Belichick said. “That’s the way it’s always been, and that’s what it will be going forward,” he said. “At different decision points, you have different opportunities. As those go along, or come along, we’ll continue to evaluate them.”
On Monday afternoon, the Titans fired four assistant coaches – OC Todd Downing, OL Coach Keith Carter, Secondary Coach Anthony Midget, and Offensive Skill Assistant Erik Frazier. Tennesse has also begun the process of finding their next general manager. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports that they’ve requested to interview the following:
- Glenn Cook
Cleveland Browns Assistant General Manager
- Ian Cunningham
Chicago Bears Assistant General Manager
- Ryan Cowden
Titans Interim General Manager and Vice President of Player Personnel
- Monti Ossenfort
Titans Director of Player Personnel
- Adam Peters
49ers Assistant General Manager
- Ran Carthon
49ers Director of Pro Personnel
- Malik Boyd
Bills Senior Director of Pro Personnel
- Quentin Harris
Cardinals Vice President of Player Personnel