Hey Andy, can you sit for prolonged periods of time and survive on a diet of only Cheetos? Wait, don’t answer that. You’re hired.
Throughout the day Tuesday as we all awoke from a deep slumber induced by several liters of alcoholic nourishment, we were treated to competing Andy Reid rumors. Of course, they were only competing in the sense that there was disagreement on the day that his formal interview with the Arizona cardinals would take place. First we heard today, and then it was Thursday, and that difference of opinion led to a brief Twitter media bro fight between Mike Florio and Jason La Canfora. Happy 2013, guys.
Now it’s clear that Reid will arrive in Arizona later tonight for his interview tomorrow. Good, the Earth can continue with its normal rotation. Throughout that process we were also told from multiple sources that Reid agreeing with the Cardinals is nearly a formality. Those sources included ESPN, but then later in the evening NFL Network’s Albert Breer lifted some heavy boulders, and concluded that Reid signing with the Cards is “no sure thing.” And now today Chris Mortensen wrote this:
Some reports have said that Reid and the Cardinals are close to a deal, including one league source who told ESPN he was “95 percent” certain Reid would end up with Arizona. But another source tells ESPN the Cardinals’ search will be wide open and that there is no leading candidate at this time.
Ahhh, early January. Mud still has far more clarity.
Fueling the uncertainty is the primary subject of Mort’s reporting, which is that before he departs for Arizona today, Reid will sit down with some gentlemen from Kansas City in an interview for the Chiefs’ head coaching vacancy. We’re still inclined to think that he lands in the desert, an opinion that’s partly based on the sheer volume of speculation about that likely move, but also the fact that Reid has family ties to the area. When a coach has reached Reid’s veteran status, sometimes a life situation can speak just as loudly as cash.
Oh, and if Reid does indeed sign with Arizona, there will be at least a mild stench to the move. His dismissal in Philadelphia was known for months, and now less than a day after that firing became official, the widespread chatter about Arizona commenced. As ESPN’s Mike Sando wrote, that’s not a coincidence.
High-profile coaches benefit when information about a deal being imminent gets out before a deal is completed. The news creates expectations, putting pressure on teams to close deals. Coaches gain leverage in the process.
Reid’s agent, Bob LaMonte, knows the business as well or better than anyone. He represents a long list of NFL head coaches and high-profile assistants.
NFC West followers might recall LaMonte brokering the deal that brought another client, Mike Holmgren, to Seattle in 1999. Back then, only hours had passed following Holmgren’s final game with Green Bay when news broke that an eight-year, $32 million deal with Seattle was imminent.
There were the usual denials, as I recall. The team emphasized the importance of process. No one wanted there to be any appearance of a deal being in the works prematurely. Several days passed before the Seahawks announced Holmgren’s hiring. The deal was pretty much as it had been advertised: eight years and $32 million.
The Chiefs interview today could be another attempt to ratchet that price up further. Or maybe it isn’t.
And more hearsay and speculation…
- Remember on Black Monday when I wrote that you’ll be hearing Dirk Koetter’s name often over the coming days? Welp, that’s done now. Koetter was one of the hottest head coaching candidates, but after meeting with the Chiefs on Tuesday he signed a two-year extension to remain the Falcons’ offensive coordinator. Sure, the paycheck that came with the promotion in such outposts as KC may have been nice, but the career suicide isn’t. Remaining the guy who controls an explosive offense with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White sounds like fun.
- Ken Whisenhunt is emerging as the central focus in the Bills’ head coach search. A league source tells the Buffalo News that new team president Russ Brandon is “fond of Whisenhunt.”
- Ray Horton — the current Cardinals defensive coordinator — has either interviewed or intends to interview for the vacancies in Arizona, Buffalo, and Cleveland.
- The Jets will interview former Browns general manager Tom Heckert for their GM opening.
- The Browns are pushing for Oregon offensive dynamo Chip Kelly, according to Jason La Canfora, who also noted that whoever doesn’t land him between Cleveland and Philly will likely turn their attention to Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.
- Kelly is indeed the Eagles’ top choice, writes Jeff McLane, but there’s another name percolating among the college ranks: Syracuse’s Doug Marrone. The Eagles also have interviews set up with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and two members of the Falcons’ staff (Mike Nolan and Keith Armstrong).
- With Koetter off the market, McCoy becomes the hottest of the hot coordinators (sexy indeed). He’s on many radars, including one that’s somewhere in a Buffalo snow bank.