NFL teams from all over the spectrum are finding themselves in the rumor mill.
One team still in contention for Super Bowl 53 is expected to have a different quarterback next season, while a team that just barely missed out on the playoffs is perhaps the most talked about team in the league because of the uncertainty surrounding a star player.
Meanwhile, head coaches are playing musical chairs. Adam Gase was fired by the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 31 but has been interviewing with multiple teams since. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, among others, Gase is expected to become the next head coach of the New York Jets.
Another familiar name may be joining the Jets coaching staff, too.
In other head coaching news, the Denver Broncos are said to be hiring Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, and the Cleveland Browns are said to be promoting offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to head coach.
Now, let's dive a little deeper into this sea of speculation.
This is certainly not a surprise—not even to Nick Foles. Before the Philadelphia Eagles rewarded their Super Bowl MVP with a revised contract, there was chatter that the team could let him go because of franchise quarterback Carson Wentz.
The same narrative has returned, only this time it seems much more plausible that Philadelphia parts ways with Foles. Prior to the Eagles' wild-card win at Chicago, Rapoport appeared on NFL Network's Good Morning Football.
He said, in part, the following:
"What remains to be seen is how the Eagles actually move on, and from what I understand, just talking to several general managers around the league, the belief is the Eagles will in fact be able to trade Nick Foles—again. Remember, they did it once before. ...
"Make no mistake: Foles is going to be coveted quarterback available in a year where there's not a lot free agent options, not a lot of options in the draft."
More recently, on Wednesday, Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman followed that up by writing that the market for Foles could be as rabid as any we've seen:
"One AFC East team executive said he believes there will be an almost 'Reggie White-like pursuit' of Foles by teams desperate for a franchise thrower. White, who left for the Eagles for the Packers in 1993, is considered the highest-profile free-agent signing of all time."
Freeman also noted that there is speculation from one anonymous scout that the Raiders could use some of the picks received for trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper in the pursuit of Foles.
Foles will turn 30 on January 20th, and 2019 will be his eighth season in the league. Philly drafted Foles in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and traded him to St. Louis after the 2014 season in exchange for Sam Bradford. At the time, nobody could have expected that Foles would return to lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win.
Long story short: the 30-year-old wide receiver caused trouble when he missed the Steelers' Week 17 game either because of an injured knee or a dispute at practice with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger—or both.
Since Pittsburgh's season ended, many reports have emerged—such as this one from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen—stating Brown will probably be traded.
However, on Wednesday evening, NFL writer and analyst Peter King said to 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh that he has heard that Brown "does not want to be traded, and he wants to play in Pittsburgh and he wants to try to win a Super Bowl there."
"There’s nine weeks until the beginning of the league year. So, there’s no reason why they have to hurry and make a decision right now, which would be a decision made out of weakness and made out of vulnerability.
"And so, if you asked my gut feeling, my gut feeling is that they’ll listen to offers and if they get a good one, they’ll trade him."
An anonymous former NFL defensive coordinator told NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks that Pittsburgh "should move on from Brown. JuJu (Smith-Schuster) isn't AB, but he can certainly fill the No. 1 role in that scheme. He is trustworthy and a dependable pass catcher. Plus, he is a blue-collar receiver who fits the personality of the team and the city."
It's still early, but there appears to be some kind of movement in the future for Brown. If he has anything to say about it, he might want to land on the West Coast.
New York Jets Coaching Staff
The Jets are expected to announce the hire of Adam Gase as their next head coach.
From 2016-18, the Jets went 1-5 against the Gase-led Miami Dolphins. Now, they'll hope Gase can turn their fortunes around not only against the Dolphins but as a whole.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News pointed out that Gase will be "the first Jets head coach since Bill Parcells in 1997 with prior head coaching experience. He's also the franchise's first offensive-minded head coach since Rich Kotite in 1995-96."
Gase's NFL coaching experience dates back to 2003. He has served as either a scouting assistant, offensive assistant, quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator or head coach for the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and Dolphins—in that order.
Under the assumption Gase does become the Jets' man, there are also rumors that Vance Joseph—the recently fired Denver Broncos head coach—could become Gase's defensive coordinator in New York, according to Rapoport.
Joseph was previously defensive coordinator under Gase in Miami in 2016.
At just 40 years old himself, Gase will be paired with 21-year-old quarterback Sam Darnold. It isn't a stretch to think that Darnold was the main priority when considering who to hire as head coach.
ESPN's Jeff Darlington tweeted as much on Wednesday evening:
Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington
The Jets wanted to make sure they got the right person to help Sam Darnold — and Darnold believes they did. I’m told Darnold didn’t impose his opinion on GM/ownership, but after speaking with Gase via FaceTime on Monday night, he personally felt like Gase was the right guy.