A pair of NFL jobs opened up in the first few hours of the annual Black Monday firing parade and, as expected, some of the names connected to the openings will cause some level of discomfort for college football programs.
With Leslie Frazier out in Minnesota, Doug Farrar of SportsIllustrated.com writes that “[t]he Vikings are said to prefer a college coach, perhaps to assist in future drafts.” Specifically, Farrar mentions Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin as possible replacements for Frazier in the Twin Cities.
The fact that Sumlin and Franklin are mentioned as possibilities for other jobs is far from surprising, although the latter’s name coming up in connection to an NFL job is, at minimum, eyebrow raising.
Sumlin agreed to a new contract late last month that would seemingly keep him off-limits to other college football programs. The NFL, though, is another matter entirely — depending on the buyout language in his new deal, of course — and is the cause of the most concern around College Station when it comes to Sumlin and his long-term future with the Aggies. Already over this coaching carousel cycle, Sumlin was tied to speculation regarding the open Houston Texans job. If the Dallas Cowboys make a change at head coach, you can expect Sumlin’s name to come up there, too.
Over the past couple of months, Franklin has been mentioned as a contender for jobs at USC and Texas, and could still be in play for the latter as the Longhorns continue their search for Mack Brown‘s replacement. The connection to an NFL job, however, has plowed new speculative ground when it comes to Franklin.
In the nation’s Capitol, the Washington Redskins finally and mercifully put the Mike Shanahan era down and is in search of a new coach. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter tweeted shortly thereafter that the “Redskins inquired through [a] third party about David Shaw.” Earlier this month, it was reported that Shaw was showing no interest in the NFL and would remain at Stanford.
With quarterback Robert Griffin III the (likely) future of the organization on the field, you can expect speculation to continue regarding Baylor’s Art Briles. Briles helped turn RGIII into a Heisman winner and second-overall draft pick during their time together with the Bears, with the thought process being Redskins’ ownership will target Briles as a way to continue building around the second-year player.
Another area of concern for college football fans, specifically those in Happy Valley, is Cleveland.
Sunday night, the Browns were
asinine decisive enough to cut ties with Rob Chudzinski after just one season. Penn State’s Bill O’Brien has already been mentioned as a possibility, and for good reason. Last year, O’Brien interviewed for the Browns’ vacancy and could’ve had the job had he been so inclined. The Browns are expected to pursue O’Brien again this year — provided another NFL club doesn’t get to him first.
Over the weekend, it was reported that talks between O’Brien and the Texans had intensified to the point where the two sides are working on a contract.