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NFL Coaching Carousel Predictions For Open Head Coach Jobs

The NFL coaching carousel is spinning at full speed, with seven vacancies yet to be filled, with some of the most accomplished coaches of this era and rising coordinators set to fill them.

Where will Bill Belichick land? Who inherits a young roster on the cusp of reaching its peak in Seattle? And, will the Panthers find a coach willing to tie his future to Bryce Young while working for owner David Tepper?

These are some of the most fascinating questions to ponder in the coming weeks.

In the aftermath of a week that saw Bill Belichick, Mike Vrabel, and Pete Carroll all fired, here's our best prediction for what the NFL will look like when the coaching carousel stops spinning:

New England Patriots: Jerod Mayo (Hired)

Robert Kraft didn't waste any time putting his succession plan into place, hiring Jerod Mayo as the 15th head coach in New England Patriots history, replacing Bill Belichick. Mayo, 37, becomes the youngest head coach in the NFL and his hiring follows a significant contract extension signed last offseason. Hiring Mayo simultaneously creates some continuity within Patriot Place, while infusing some youthful new ideas into an organization that has fallen woefully behind the rest of the AFC East in terms of personnel.

Seattle Seahawks: Mike Vrabel

There might not be a more ideal match this offseason between potential head coach and current personnel than Mike Vrabel and the Seattle Seahawks. Vrabel cut his teeth in Tennessee by establishing an offense built on a strong power-running game and a stifling defense. Seattle has spent the past two offseasons constructing a swarming secondary, fortifying the front-seven, and building an offense around running back Kenneth Walker and some dynamic talent at wide receiver. Vrabel might be the ideal coach to elevate the Seahawks back into the NFC West conversation, especially if Seattle solves its quarterback uncertainty this offseason.

Washington Commanders: Bill Belichick

Despite his legacy, teams might not be storming the gates to hand Bill Belichick complete personnel control based on how the past three seasons played out in Foxborough following Tom Brady's departure, not to mention pay a premium that six Super Bowl championships commands. However, Washington owner Joshua Harris has nearly unlimited resources, has talked about a sustainable rebuild, and is intent on returning excitement to a former crown jewel franchise of the NFL. Harris handing the keys to the franchise to Belichick, with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft to snag a potential franchise quarterback and more cap space than any team in the league would certainly jump-start a sustainable rebuild.

Los Angeles Chargers: Ben Johnson

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 12: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions talks with offensive coordinator Ben Johnson before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Inglewood, California.

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Thanks to Justin Herbert and some exciting young pieces on offense, the Chargers are likely to be the most sought after vacancy for coaching candidates, and no coordinator will be more coveted than Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. Johnson's innovative offense and aggressive play-calling built around field-stretching receivers, a multi-faceted ground attack and attacking the middle of the field with pass-catching tight ends just might be exactly what Herbert needs to take the next step in his development and the Chargers to finally challenge the Chiefs for AFC West supremacy.

Las Vegas Raiders: Antonio Pierce

Mark Davis would be wise to look at both the results of the second half of the season — winners of three out of the final four games, as well as how hard his players played for Antonio Pierce and move forward with continuity. Davis needn't look too far into the recent past to see how firing interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, led the Raiders to the postseason as an interim head coach, and the failures resulted from tabbing Josh McDaniels to replace him. Pierce has struck a chord in the Raiders' locker room and did enough to lose the interim tag and gain the head coaching job in Vegas moving forward.

Carolina Panthers: Todd Monken

It might prove difficult for the Panthers to land one of the top head coaching candidates. Given the issues surrounding working for owner David Tepper, who has fired three head coaches since 2018, combined with limited financial resources and draft capital, this isn't exactly a coveted role. Still, Todd Monken's scheme has brought the best out of Lamar Jackson this season, and his system might work wonders for the personnel in place in Carolina. If the Panthers are looking for a coach to help oversee Bryce Young's development, Monken's recent track record might make him an attractive candidate.

Tennessee Titans: Mike MacDonald

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 31: Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald of the Baltimore Ravens looks on during the first half of the game against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Hiring Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald would be a move to turn back the clock in Tennessee. Similarly to Vrabel, MacDonald is a rising defensive mind, and helped guide the Ravens into the No. 1 scoring defense and No. 6 total defense during the 2023 campaign. Tennessee is going to need to rebuild its defense, and add playmakers around quarterback Will Levis, but MacDonald has the ability to get the most out of the defensive pieces in place to keep the Titans afloat in the infancy of a roster overhaul.

Atlanta Falcons: Bobby Slowik

Regardless of who winds up behind center for the Falcons, everything Atlanta does this season needs to begin with the foundation of finding a way to maximize dynamic playmakers such as Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts, which did not happen under Arthur Smith. Whether the Falcons trade for a veteran quarterback, trade up to select one of the top prospects in the '24 class, or dip into free agency, Slowik is the ideal candidate to build an offense around Atlanta's explosiveness and develop a quarterback within his scheme. Arthur Blank need look no further than C.J. Stroud's ascent to becoming an MVP candidate as a rookie to see what could be possible with Slowik's scheme as the foundation of a rebuild.

MORE: Patriots Head Coach Candidates After Bill Belichick Steps Down