Betting on 2019 NFL Head Coaching Vacancies – Potential Candidates and Predictions

Now that the Packers have hired offensive guru Matt LaFleur, seven teams remain without a lead man.

Scratch that.

In a stunning turn of events, the Arizona Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury on Tuesday afternoon, angering a whole bunch of people in Southern California.

Kliff was just recently brought in by USC to serve as their offensive coordinator in 2019, but that’s obviously gone out the window.

The Cardinals feel like they have found their man, despite Kingsbury producing an underwhelming 35-40 record during six seasons at Texas Tech.

I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near Kliff for an NFL head coaching position, but hey. To each his own.

And the headlines didn’t end there on Tuesday, either.

The Buccaneers have lured Bruce Arians out of retirement, hiring the 66-year-old former Cardinals head coach to run the ship in Tampa. After spending a season commentating for CBS Sports, it’s obvious that Arians felt the itch to return to the gridiron.

So that leaves us with five open slots.

Some of the 2019 NFL head coaching vacancies are more attractive than others, and there are still lots of names floating around as potential candidates.

Let’s start trying to figure out who is going to land where.  This is not only fun to do, but also worth it from a betting perspective. Many betting sites have markets where you can wager on which coach will fill a vacancy, and these can offer some great value if you’re up to speed with the candidates.

Who Will Become the Bengals Next Head Coach?

Finally. After 16 seasons in Cincinnati, the Bengals front office has pulled the plug on Marvin Lewis. Perhaps his tenure had already been over-extended because it’s been clear for a while now that the Bengals needed to move in a different direction.

Let’s just hope they don’t promote Hue Jackson anytime soon. That would be a disaster.

Here who has been interviewed up until this point.

2018 Position

Eric Bieniemy
Chiefs offensive coordinator

Hue Jackson
Browns HC, Bengals special assistant

Vance Joseph
Broncos HC

Bill Lazor
Bengals offensive coordinator

Todd Monken
Buccaneers offensive coordinator

Darrin Simmons
Bengals special teams coordinator

Zac Taylor
Rams QB coach

Shane Waldron
Rams passing game coordinator

Well, one thing is crystal clear about team president Mike Brown. He is looking for an offensive-minded guy to run his franchise moving forward.

Bill Lazor is a name that jumps out immediately for a couple of reasons. Not only is he well-acquainted with the organization (Bengals QB coach in 2016, Bengals OC from 2017-2018), but Lazor fits the model of a guy whose background comes in coaching offense.

If the 46-year-old Cornell graduate doesn’t land his first head coaching gig in Cincy, then perhaps look out for one of the two Rams assistants who have been interviewed. Both men are under 40, and both have shown promise leading a Rams offense that averaged an NFC-high 32.9 points/game in 2018.

In the end, don’t be shocked if they lean toward the guy who has ties to Bill Belichick and Sean McVay.

My Prediction – Shane Waldron

Who Will Become the Broncos Next Head Coach?

The Vance Joseph era lasted two years, but John Elway couldn’t take the continual underachievement any longer. I think starting fresh with a new head honcho is the obvious move in Denver. Here’s who Elway is considering.

2018 Position

Vic Fangio
Bears defensive coordinator

Brian Flores
Patriots linebackers coach

Mike Munchak
Steelers offensive line coach

Chuck Pagano
NFL consultant (former Colts HC)

Zac Taylor
Rams QB coach

Well, I guess John Elway is moving along quickly. Despite interviewing five men, it appears that Elway and the Broncos are closing in on two candidates.

Sources say he is deciding between Vic Fangio, the man responsible for anchoring the number-one-ranked defense in football this past year, and Mike Munchak, the offensive line coach in Pittsburgh.

Fangio has been a hot name circulating the industry, and I think he ends up landing in Denver. It doesn’t appear that the Broncos were too keen on snagging one of the “young offensive guys,” as Zac Taylor was the only one of the bunch who was seriously looked at.

My Prediction – Vic Fangio

Who Will Become the Browns Next Head Coach?

It appears that the writing is on the wall for this one. But that hasn’t stopped Browns general manager John Dorsey from interviewing a host of candidates.

2018 Position

Jim Caldwell
XFL consultant (former Lions HC)

Dan Campbell
Saints tight ends coach

Matt Eberflus
Colts defensive coordinator

Brian Flores
Patriots linebackers coach

Freddie Kitchens
Browns offensive coordinator

Kevin Stefanski
Vikings offensive coordinator

Gregg Williams
Browns interim HC

The Browns played much better under interim coach Gregg Williams (once they canned Hue Jackson after Week 8), but I can’t imagine he gets this gig moving forward.

Cleveland brought in an influx of viable men who could be right for the job, but it’s starting to look inevitable that their current offensive coordinator receives the final nod.

There is a “good chance” that Freddie Kitchens will be the Browns’ next head coach, as the strong bond formed between he and Baker Mayfield was undeniable. If Baker gives Freddie the vote of confidence, I bet that’ll be more than enough in the eyes of this front office.

My Prediction – Freddie Kitchens

Who Will Become the Dolphins Next Head Coach?

Adam Gase should be happy to get out of the situation that is the Miami Dolphins organization. Playing Ryan Tannehill or Brock Osweiler at quarterback and trying to contend in the NFL today is like asking me to guard James Harden one-on-one – it just won’t work.

Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but you get my drift.

2018 Position

Dennis Allen
Saints defensive coordinator

Eric Bieniemy
Chiefs offensive coordinator

Brian Flores
Patriots linebackers coach

Kris Richard
Cowboys defensive backs coach

Newly-appointed Chris Grier, who is now supervising the football operations in Miami, is keying in on a guy who is already familiar with the AFC East Division. Brian Flores is the man leading the way in terms of the hopefuls to become the next head coach of the Fins.

Like Grier, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was equally enthralled with the ideas and philosophies the Patriots linebackers coach had when he met with the Dolphins front office.

Given that this guy has been under Bill Belichick’s umbrella in Foxborough since 2004, I don’t think we need to doubt his aptitude or commitment.

But if the Dolphins want to legitimately challenge for an AFC Playoff spot next season, then figuring out who their quarterback moving forward will be is a huge piece to the puzzle. Because no matter if Brian Flores or another well-equipped man is hired for this job, it’ll be tough to be competitive with #17 under center.

My Prediction – Brian Flores

Who Will Become the Jets Next Head Coach?

The Jets have decided to give Sam Darnold a realistic shot at success. Keeping Todd Bowles around any longer would have been a disservice to the talented 21-year-old quarterback, so no matter who gets hired, it’s almost certainly an immediate upgrade.

Bowles accumulated a 24-40 record in four seasons in the Big Apple, and clearly, his time was up.

2018 Position

Eric Bieniemy
Chiefs offensive coordinator

Jim Caldwell
XFL consultant (former Lions HC)

Adam Gase
Dolphins HC

Mike McCarthy
Packers HC

Todd Monken
Buccaneers offensive coordinator

Kliff Kingsbury
Texas Tech HC (college)

Kris Richard
Cowboys defensive backs coach

We can take Kliff off the list, as the Cardinals locked him in as fast as they could. Given that the future of this franchise partly hinges on the development of Sam Darnold at QB, it seems natural that Christopher Johnson would try and secure a guy who has a history of establishing young quarterbacks.

The Jets CEO was enamored with Mike McCarthy, likely because he knows he is more than capable of evolving Darnold on the job.

Adam Gase in another interesting name to keep close tabs on, but I’m not convinced Gase wants to coach in a division that is still being dominated and overshadowed by Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

If McCarthy decides that the time is now and that he doesn’t need to spend a year mulling over his future, then this job will be his. Considering that things didn’t end well in Green Bay, something tells me that Mike is eager to get jump straight back into the fray.

My Prediction – Mike McCarthy

Lingering Thoughts

There might be nearly a half-dozen head coaching openings right now, but surely that can change at any moment. The sooner NFL teams can find their man, the sooner they can start planning and building for the future.

We’ve seen Green Bay and Arizona waste no time whatsoever, as they are already looking forward to what 2019 will bring.

Keep an eye on the top NFL betting sites, because they regularly offer wagers regarding who will become a specific team’s next head coach. If and when you see something you like, go ahead and fire away!

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