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Rarely, if ever, are many of the NFL's most-high profile head coaching jobs available at the same time, but the competition for candidates could be unique in 2014 given how the first half of the season has gone thus far. Some of the league's biggest markets -- Washington, Dallas, Houston, and both New York teams -- could all end up open at the same time, a phenomenon that's quite rare.
The potential to have some of the NFL's biggest revenue teams competing for some of the top candidates available -- guys like Jon Gruden and Stanford's David Shaw and Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M -- will be intense, and the idea of having perhaps three NFC East teams all searching for a coach (Philadelphia just hired Chip Kelly this year) could make for some interesting negotiations.
The Giants situation with Tom Coughlin could lead to a mutual decision to part because they have yet to win a game, but the team makes a point to show proper deference to a man who has won two Super Bowls there. Jerry Jones has showed resolve with Jason Garrett, but if that team falters with Garrett no longer running the offense, several other execs believe Jones' patience would wear thin. Mike Shanahan is signed through 2014 in Washington, but that tenure has been erratic, and there are complicated issues to sort through as well.
Would Shanahan work as a lame-duck coach? And if the Redskins do not have another late-season surge like last year, would owner Dan Snyder extend him and his son, Kyle Shanahan, the offensive coordinator? The Shanahans' relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III is under constant scrutiny there, and some wonder if the Redskins made a move if they would look at someone like Sumlin, who runs an offense also suited to RG3, or perhaps even consider Griffin's college coach at Baylor, Art Briles? General Manager Bruce Allen worked with Shaw before in Oakland, though several league sources believe Shaw will ultimately end up staying at Stanford.
One quarter of the NFL, if not slightly more, could be looking for new coaches after this season, and with fewer hot candidates emerging in the coordinator ranks, and fewer recently-fired former head coaches as in demand, the college ranks could end up providing several of those hires.