The Monday following the NFL regular season is a perilous day to be a head coach. This year, Brian Flores, Matt Nagy and Mike Zimmer all found themselves without a job, joining the Broncos’ Vic Fangio, who was laid off the day before.
Jon Gruden of the Raiders and Urban Meyer of the Jaguars left their positions earlier in the season.
This year’s round of layoffs includes several organizational kills, as the Bears and Vikings also lost their general managers, and the Giants began their evaluations of coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman.
Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos fired coach Vic Fangio after three lost seasons.
Fangio was fired a day after the Broncos’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, 28-24, and finished last in the AFC West with a 7-10 record. The Broncos were in contention for a playoff berth heading into the final quarter of the season, thanks to one of the best defenses in the league, but then lost their last four games.
Denver has not made the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl in the 2015 season. Fangio compiled a three-season record 19-30.
Broncos general manager George Paton, who took over the post when John Elway became director of football operations in January 2021, will start looking for a new coach.
2021 NFL Season News and Analysis
“George will have full authority to select the next Broncos head coach,” team president and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement. “It’s his decision and his program.”
There may also be troubles in the owner’s box. The odds of the franchise being sold this year have increased after a judge in Arapahoe County, Colo., Dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the will of former owner Pat Bowlen, who died in 2019.
Whoever takes over the team’s front office will inherit several top offensive weapons, including wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant, and several top defensemen, including safety Justin Simmons and linebacker Bradley Chubb. The team also have five picks in the first three rounds of the next draft.
Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
In a surprising movement, the Dolphins sacked Brian Flores Monday despite a 9-8 season and a seven-game winning streak that nearly propelled Miami to the playoffs. In his three seasons as a head coach, Flores went 4-2 against division rivals New England Patriots and Bill Belichick, his mentor during his decade as an assistant there. low.
The Dolphins’ record for wins in the 2021 season, like last year’s 10-6, was not enough to get them to the playoffs, an absence that spanned five years.
“I determined that the key dynamics of our football operation were not performing at the level that I wanted and felt this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins,” said team owner Stephen. Ross in a statement. “I think we have a talented young team in place and we have the potential to be much better in 2022.”
Flores finished with a combined 24-25 record after three seasons in his first head coaching position. The team announced that they will retain general manager Chris Grier.
Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears
The Bears sacked coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace on Monday.
Nagy made a spectacular debut in 2018, as the Bears finished 12-4 and made the playoffs for the first time in eight years, earning him the Coach of the Year award. But two seasons 8-8 and a season 6-11 followed. His tenure ends with an overall record of 34-31.
Pace spent seven seasons at the club. He hired John Fox (14-34) and Nagy as head coaches and drafted quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (instead of Patrick Mahomes) in 2017.
Although Nagy was the offensive coordinator at Kansas City, the Bears never developed a strong offense behind Trubisky. They turned to Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields this season with mostly poor results.
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings sacked coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman on Monday.
“It is time for new leaders to elevate our team so that we can consistently fight for the championships,” the team said in a statement. The Vikings haven’t made a Super Bowl since the 1976 season and have never won an NFL title.
Zimmer was a head coach for eight seasons, including three playoff appearances. The high water mark was a 13-3 season in 2017 and a trip to the NFC championship. But the team was 7-9, 8-9 over the past two seasons. Zimmer ends his tenure with a 72-56-1 record.