The NFL regular season is behind us, and we have just one more head-coaching opening. The first two hires of this job cycle were made in late January with the Denver Broncos hiring Nathaniel Hackett and the Chicago Bears appointing Matt Eberflus. The New York Giants followed with Brian Daboll, and then the Las Vegas Raiders chose Josh McDaniels.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were next, as they named Doug Pederson their coach. The Miami Dolphins then hired Mike McDaniel, the Houston Texans followed by hiring Lovie Smith, and the New Orleans Saints opted to promote defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. The Minnesota Vikings finished up the coaching cycle by adding Kevin O'Connell.
Here's everything you need to know about the latest NFL head-coach movement, with news on open jobs, potential open jobs and candidates.
FILLED HEAD-COACH JOBS
New coach: Kevin O'Connell
Former coach: Mike Zimmer
The Vikings are planning to introduce Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell as their next coach on Thursday, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The Vikings had not been permitted to announce they were hiring O'Connell while the Rams were still playing in the postseason but can do so anytime now that Los Angeles' season has been completed, culminating with their Super Bowl LVI victory.
O'Connell replaces Mike Zimmer, who was fired last month after eight seasons. The Vikings finished with an 8-9 record and missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
O'Connell finished his second season as the Rams' offensive coordinator after joining the franchise in 2020. Before that, he was with Washington for three seasons, as offensive coordinator in 2019, passing game coordinator in 2018 and quarterbacks coach in 2017.
New coach: Dennis Allen
Former coach: Sean Payton (stepping away from team)
The Saints have informed defensive coordinator Dennis Allen that they are hiring him as their next head coach, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Monday. Allen, 49, will replace his longtime boss, Sean Payton, who stepped away two weeks ago. This will be Allen's second stint as a head coach after he went 8-28 as coach of the Raiders from 2012 to 2014.
New Orleans' defense has morphed into the strength of the team in recent years, ranking fourth in the NFL in both yards allowed and points allowed over the past three seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Payton, 58, decided to step away from team after 16 years. New Orleans missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons with a 9-8 record in 2021. Payton posted a career record of 152-89 (.631 winning percentage), not including his season-long suspension in 2012 because of the league's bounty investigation. Payton went 9-8 in the postseason, including the only Super Bowl victory in franchise history in 2009.
New coach: Lovie Smith
Former coach: David Culley
Texans are expected to name former Buccaneers and Bears head coach Lovie Smith as their own head coach, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Field Yates. Smith was the Texans' associate head coach last season.
The Texans fired Culley one year after the longtime assistant became the oldest first-time NFL head coach at age 65.
In Culley's first season as a head coach, the Texans won the same number of games as they did the previous season under interim coach Romeo Crennel. Culley did it with a depleted roster and a team that has had just one first-round pick in the past four years.
New coach: Mike McDaniel
Former coach: Brian Flores
The Dolphins have agreed to a deal with 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel to make him their next coach, the team announced Sunday. McDaniel's hiring marks the end of a nearly month-long search since the Dolphins fired Brian Flores on Jan. 10.
Flores filed a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos last week over the interview processes in New York and Denver and his firing by Miami. In that lawsuit, Flores alleged that owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 per loss during the 2019 season. Ross denied the accusation last week.
New coach: Doug Pederson
Former coach: Urban Meyer
Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl with Philadelphia, is being hired as the new coach of the Jaguars. The hiring ends a search that began 49 days after the team fired Urban Meyer and 35 days after Pederson first interviewed with the Jaguars. Pederson went 42-31-1 and made three playoff appearances in five seasons in Philadelphia (2016-20).
Pederson spent the 2021 season out of football, but he was the first candidate the Jaguars interviewed. That was on Dec. 30, and the Jaguars brought him back for a second interview on Feb. 1.
New coach: Josh McDaniels
Former coach: Jon Gruden (resigned Oct. 11)
The Raiders introduced former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their head coach on Monday. They announced Sunday they have hired former Patriots personnel executive Dave Ziegler as their general manager.
Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, 61, had been promoted from special teams coordinator upon the resignation of Jon Gruden. It was the first time in Bisaccia's coaching career, which began in 1983, that he was a head coach at any level. Former general manager Mike Mayock was fired when the season was over.
New coach: Brian Daboll
Former coach: Joe Judge
The Giants have hired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their new head coach, the team announced on Friday. Daboll, 46, guided top-five offenses in Buffalo each of the past two seasons. He is credited with spearheading the development of quarterback Josh Allen from an erratic, big-armed quarterback into one of the game's brightest young stars.
The Giants also hired Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen as their new GM. The connection between Schoen and Daboll from Buffalo made this an almost expected hire. Daboll was considered the favorite for the job from the moment Schoen was hired.
The Giants fired coach Joe Judge after two losing seasons with the team. The move came a day after general manager David Gettleman retired after four seasons on the job. Judge, a first-time head coach, went 10-23 in his two years. He is the third consecutive Giants coach to be fired after two seasons or less, following Ben McAdoo (13-15) and Pat Shurmur (9-23), as the once-proud franchise stumbles through one of the worst 10-year stretches in its history.
Fowler/Graziano: Can Daboll get Daniel Jones on the right track
New coach: Nathaniel Hackett
Former coach: Vic Fangio
The Broncos agreed to terms with Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be their head coach, the team announced on Thursday. Hackett, who has worked with quarterbacks at all phases on the developmental curve, was scheduled to interview with the Jaguars on Thursday, but the Broncos stepped in Wednesday night to get a deal done that prevented him from going to Jacksonville.
It will be Hackett's first time as a head coach, and he becomes the team's fourth different coach since the start of the 2016 season. Of all the offensive assistants interviewed by the Broncos, Hackett had the deepest résumé as a former playcaller for Buffalo and Jacksonville before his time with the Packers.
He replaces Fangio, who was fired this month after going 7-10 this season -- the team's fifth consecutive losing season.
Fowler/Graziano: Can Hackett bring offensive stability to Denver?
New coach: Matt Eberflus
Former coach: Matt Nagy
The Bears have hired Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their head coach, the team announced Thursday night. Eberflus, 51, will join new general manager Ryan Poles in taking over a Bears team that went 6-11 in 2021 under Matt Nagy and has missed the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons.
Eberflus has spent the past four seasons as the Colts' defensive coordinator under head coach Frank Reich. His defenses finished in the top 10 in scoring three times, including being tied for ninth in 2021 at 21.5 points per game.