NFL rumors: Team reportedly looking to trade for new head coach

By Vincent Frank
October 4, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

None of the six head coach vacancies have been filled as NFL rumors pick up about candidates and interviews one week after the regular season came to a conclusion.

We’ve read all about the obvious names in this cycle. Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh seem to be the hottest commodities as teams make plans to replace their recently-fired coaches.

However, there might be another wrinkle to this situation. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, at least one team is looking to go the non-traditional route when it comes to bringing on a new head coach.

Related: Ranking the six NFL head coach openings

NFL rumors: Team reportedly looking to trade for new head coach

NFL coaching rumors, NFL rumors: New York Jets
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets helmet on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

“In the current cycle, there’s buzz that one of the teams currently looking for a coach — the Jets, Jaguars, Lions, Falcons, Chargers, and Texans — could attempt to hire a current head coach with another team,” Florio reported. “The coach’s current team could end it all quickly by hanging up the phone. But it costs nothing to make the call, and it’s believed that at least one team may make the call to one of the teams that, at least for now, has a head coach.”

There’s no suggestions one way or another pointing to a specific team that might look to pull off a Jon Gruden-type trade for a head coach. Remember, back in 2002 Gruden was dealt from the then-Oakland Raiders to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for multiple first and second-round picks. It’s certainly a rarity, one that would set the football world on fire.

Related: Top 40 remaining NFL free agents of 2021

NFL rumors: Doug Pederson trade to the Jets?

NFL rumors: Philadelphia Eagles' Doug Pederson
Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson reacts against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The obvious link here is Doug Pederson to the Jets. Pederson worked with Jets general manager Joe Douglas in Philadelphia.

There’s a chance the Eagles entertain New York in “trade” talks for the head coach after it looked like the two sides were headed for a divorce towards the end of a brutal four-win season in Philadelphia. New York is also said to be interested in an offensive-minded head coach to replace Adam Gase.

As far as NFL rumors go, this specific one would make sense. The Jets boast young quarterback Sam Darnold under center and have the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Whatever happens on that front, they will have an inexperienced player manning the game’s most-important position. Pederson earned his stripes in Philadelphia by turning Carson Wentz into a top-end quarterback before some major struggles in 2020.

Related: Jets offseason preview

Purely hypothetical, but Mike Zimmer (Vikings) and Sean Payton (Saints) are two other names who could come up as it relates to a team trading for a head coach.

NFL rumors: Sean Payton trade?
Oct 15, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) following a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Lions 52-38. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s long been rumors that Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings could part ways. Meanwhile, NFL rumors surrounding a Payton “trade” ramped up big time last offseason when the Dallas Cowboys had an opening.

Either way, this is certainly something to keep an eye on as the NFL head coach hiring cycle continues.

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