Former Head Coach Bill Cowher wants to coach again, that is a certainty.
Cowher’s options are seemingly limited as this year as head coach firings are few and far between, especially considering the number of other high-profile coaches available. So far, his options run the gamut from the Buffalo Bills to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At this point and time, other teams like the Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, and Chicago Bears are high contenders as well, but their current coaching contracts prohibit them. Each team’s current wheelmen have uncertain futures with their teams, so only time will reveal the result.
Cowher isn’t simply settling for a vacant headset and a wad of cash, he is looking for a position similar to Mike Holmgren’s when he was in Seattle. Cowher wants control over the personnel and overall direction of the team.
Tampa Bay has offered Cowher a $6 million deal, but, Shanahan’s $7 million contract with the Washington Redskins nullifies Cowher’s chances for taking such a low bid. Buffalo also has a chance at nabbing Cowher but their small market and marginal roster talent won’t be enough to attract “the chin.”
Cowher’s most likely destination is Charlotte. The Carolina Panthers have promising young talent on both sides of the ball and a potential franchise quarterback in Matt Moore.
John Fox has one more year on his contract and Jerry Richardson has made it clear that Fox will retain his position through 2010 but, with General Manager Marty Hurney’s contract expiring in June, the Panthers are in terrific shape to give Cowher a big, fat contract and unlimited control at the start of the 2011 season-that is, if Cowher is willing to wait.
The threat of a lockout in 2011 and the end of the current CBA is also a concern for both team and Cowher but he will sign with a team regardless. Also, Cowher has lived in North Carolina for a number of years and will, no doubt, have the support of his family if he opts to stay in the area.
Cowher may not commit to any team this year, but that doesn’t mean his talents won’t be missed.
Next year, there is sure to be a number more of head coach firings and, while Carolina will likely remain at the top of Cowher’s short list, a number of other teams will be vying for his leadership.
Any decision that Cowher makes needs to come quickly, though. His Super Bowl win in 2005 is slowly becoming a moot point.