The day after the last NFL regular-season game is widely known as Black Monday, a day in which teams that missed the playoffs fire coaches and/or general managers. Even in this COVID-impacted 2020/21 season, Monday was no exception.
The purge actually started on Sunday night when the New York Jets fired Adam Gase. The dismissals continued Monday as the Los Angeles Chargers said goodbye to Anthony Lynn and Jacksonville fired Doug Marrone. Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos announced that while John Elway will remain as team President, he will no longer be the General Manager.
Anthony Lynn Done in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Chargers won the final four games of the regular season, but that wasn’t enough to give Lynn a fifth season. He went 33-31 in four seasons and this year replaced veteran quarterback Philip Rivers with rookie Justin Herbert.
While the Chargers play in the AFC West and haven’t had success in the last few years, this could be an enticing job. Los Angeles will draw free agents. There’s a brand new stadium, plus the Chargers already have a strong young nucleus with Herbert, wide receiver Keenan Allen, running back Austin Ekeler, defensive end Joey Bosa, and safety Derwin James.
Marrone Latest Casualty in Jacksonville
When GM Dave Caldwell was fired earlier this season, the writing was on the wall for Doug Marrone. A new GM will want their own head coach, and going 1-15 sure didn’t help Marrone’s cause.
Marrone went 23-43 in four seasons plus two interim games in charge in 2016. His only winning season was his first, with a 10-6 mark and an AFC South title. But the last three seasons, Jacksonville won five games, six games, and one game.
Whoever takes this job inherits the No. 1 overall draft pick and nearly $80 in salary cap space, but a roster that needs a ton of work.
Six Coach Openings...So Far
Some playoff teams could also make changes, and a few other coaches remain on the hot seat heading into the Wild Card weekend. The three openings created Sunday and Monday join the three that opened up during the season, and those teams have already started interviews.
The Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, and Atlanta Falcons all have not only coach openings but general manager openings as well. In the Texans' case, Bill O’Brien filled both roles while the other teams made multiple changes this season.
Broncos to Hire GM
After another season of missing the playoffs, the Denver Broncos will hire a new full-time general manager. Team legend and Hall of Famer John Elway will remain president of football operations but will no longer be the day-to-day GM. He will also cede full authority of personnel, including free agency, the draft, and roster creation.
The new GM and the current head coach Vic Fangio will both report to Elway. However, there is no guarantee the new GM keeps Fangio and his 12-20 record on the sidelines for 2021.
The last time the Broncos had a GM that wasn’t Elway was in 2011, and the Elway era started with five straight divisional titles and a Super Bowl win. Even with four consecutive losing seasons, Elway’s record as GM was 96-74, and the .565 win percentage ranks fourth among current NFL general managers.