NFL Rumors: Latest Trade and Coaching Reports Following Week 18

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2022

NFL Rumors: Latest Trade and Coaching Reports Following Week 18

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    The Miami Dolphins delivered the biggest shock in NFL coaching circles on Monday morning. 

    Miami opted to fire head coach Brian Flores despite producing back-to-back winning seasons. Flores finished with a 24-25 record in Miami that was skewed by a 5-11 opening season. 

    Flores was not viewed as one of the top candidates to be fired going into the first day of the offseason for 18 teams, but he was let go by the Dolphins. 

    The news out of Miami led to an instant flurry of rumors about a potential big-fish coaching signing. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has been linked with a return to the professional level on numerous occasions, but he does not appear to be headed to Miami.

    ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported that Harbaugh is not the target of Miami's coaching search. 

    As for Flores, he could be a top candidate for some of the other vacant jobs across the NFL. The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings parted ways with their head coaches and general managers on Monday morning, while the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars already had openings.  

Brian Flores Should Be Targeted in Coaching Searches

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Brian Flores' departure stunned many across the NFL on Monday morning, including ESPN's Field Yates, who pointed out how much Flores got out of the Miami roster. 

    Flores put the Dolphins one game away from the postseason in each of the last two seasons. He did so with a roster that appeared to be improving each year. 

    Flores and his staff helped draft Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle in the first round of the last two NFL drafts. Both first-round selections played key roles in Miami's playoff chase this season. 

    Miami appeared to be on the right track under Flores, but the team's ownership opted to sever ties and go in a different direction. 

    ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Flores "is expected to be a prime candidate" for the other available jobs across the NFL. 

    Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville and Minnesota are the other four openings in the NFL right now. The Jaguars are the only team that has conducted interviews so far because they fired Urban Meyer in the middle of the regular season.

    Flores should at least get an interview or two once the teams that just opened their head coaching jobs figure out a clear wish list of candidates. 

    It sounds like Flores will not be out of a job for long, whether it be as a head coach or as a defensive coordinator. He was a defensive position coach for the New England Patriots from 2008-18. 

Miami Will Not Go After Jim Harbaugh

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    Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

    Multiple reports on Monday morning turned down the potential connection between Jim Harbaugh and the Dolphins. 

    The MMQB's Albert Breer and ESPN's Jeff Darlington both reported that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will not pursue Harbaugh in the team's coaching search. 

    Darlington also reported that Flores' relationship with general manager Chris Grier and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa "deteriorated to a pretty bad place."

    No candidates for the Miami job have appeared on the rumor mill yet, but Harbaugh will not be the target of the coaching search. 

    The Michigan head coach could draw interest from the other franchises with head coaching vacancies. He has a connection to the Chicago Bears from his day as a player, but nothing concrete has popped up between the two parties. 

    Harbaugh is coming off his most successful season at Michigan, as he led the Wolverines to the Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff. 

    The 58-year-old's stock at Michigan has never been higher, but whether he parlays that into a NFL return remains to be seen. 

Joe Judge Meets with Giants Ownership on Monday

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is on the hot seat after his team underperformed this season.

    According to The Athletic's Dan Duggan, Judge met with Giants owner John Mara on Monday morning to presumably go over future plans for the franchise. 

    Judge's future has been under question for the last few weeks after his team turned in some miserable showings with the combination of Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon at quarterback. 

    Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported on Sunday night that there was "a lot" of frustration inside the Giants locker room regarding the head coach. 

    Judge is 10-23 in his two seasons as Giants head coach, and his team did not improve from last season. The Giants dropped from 6-10 to 4-13.

    If Judge remains in place, the Giants can improve their roster for his third season. The NFC East side has two top-10 picks in the 2022 draft.