Historical odds not promising for new coaches

Updated: August 25, 2003, 11:38 AM ET
By By Ryan Early | NFL Insider
With free agency leveling the talent across the NFL, teams looking for an edge have placed a higher emphasis on coaching, and top coaches subsequently have become hot commodities. Their salaries are approaching those of the game's star players, teams have traded multiple draft picks for the right to sign them, and, sometimes, they are granted sweeping powers over personnel and off-field decisions.

That paid off for the Bucs last year, who won a championship after trading a package of draft picks and cash to the Raiders for Jon Gruden.

The average team goes 4.5 years before changing coaches. The race to find the best coach possible hit a high in 1998, when the average tenure of an NFL head coach shrank to just three seasons, down from a high of 6.1 a decade earlier.