The Doc Rivers trade in the NBA got us thinking about the trade value of current NFL head men.
There is a precedent in the league for the trading of a head coach. Back in 2002, Oakland traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Bucs for two first round draft picks (’02, ’03), two second round picks (’02, ’04) and $8 million in cash. Gruden was fresh off a quick turnaround of the Raiders and one of the hottest names in the NFL coaching world. He was a young, fiery coach with Playoff credentials and Tampa opened up the bank to ensure he would be leading the charge of their squad.
The Gruden deal wasn’t the only trade for a coach, although it was the most lucrative from a compensation standpoint. Back in 1969, Don Shula was dealt for a first round pick. In 1997 Bill Parcells was traded from New England Patriots to the New York Jets for a third and fourth round pick in 1997, second in 1998, and first in 1999. In 2000 the Jets returned the favor by trading Bill Belichick for a first round pick to the Pats. Then in 2006, Herm Edwards was dealt from the Jets to the Chiefs for a fourth round pick.
It’s a mixed bag with these trades. Gruden would win a Super Bowl in Tampa but many argued it was with Tony Dungy’s talent base and he outwore his welcome after seven seasons with the Bucs. Parcells would retire in 2000 – albeit for a short time. Herm Edwards went 15-33 in three seasons in Kansas City. Bill Belichick would do alright in New England.
It’s hard to imagine a team dealing a head coach in today’s NFL but we’ll recap the trade value of each of the 32 NFL head coaches and offer a power ranking of head men in the league.
32. Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders
Allen’s first season in Oakland was a disaster. He’s at no fault for this abysmal roster but some head scratching decisions has many questioning whether he’s got the goods to be the lead man of an NFL team.
TRADE VALUE: Nil
31. Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears
Trestman’s claim to fame will be his work as NFL offensive coordinator for the 49ers in the mid ‘90s and Raiders in the early 2000s. It remains to be seen whether Trestman can transfer his keen offensive mind into being a quality head man in today’s game.
TRADE VALUE: One bag of unscuffed game balls
30. Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns
Chud has delivered as an NFL OC for the Browns and Panther. This season will be his first stint pulling the strings as head man. Chud will be aided by a strong group of coordinators and low expectations – making him a candidate to rise up the rankings as the season progresses.
TRADE VALUE: Seasoned NFL long snapper
29. Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
Rivera is firmly on the Panthers hot seat and could be a prime candidate for an in-season firing. Rivera needs Cam Newton to take his game to the next level if he wants to remain a head coach in the league.
TRADE VALUE: Nil
28. Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers
McCoy has had some impressive seasons in Denver – running completely different and distinct offensive systems. He was a great fit in San Diego and should recharge the batteries of once-promising signal caller, Phillip Rivers.
TRADE VALUE: Young, backup RG
27. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars
Gus has an impossible task of making the best out of this bad situation in Jacksonville. That said, expectations are at the ground floor and he appears to be just what the doctor ordered for a lackluster roster. Bradley did wonders for the Seahawks defense and he’ll need to do the same in Jacksonville to offset the quarterback play.
TRADE VALUE: Future considerations
26. Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills
Some seem to forget that Marrone was the OC in New Orleans for three very successful seasons. Marrone turned around a poor program in Syracuse in short order and was one of the most sought after coaches in the offseason…for good reason. Marrone will have a tough go of it early in Buffalo but could find success for the long-term.
TRADE VALUE: Wily veteran quarterback
25. Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles
The biggest fish in the coaching pool this offseason was Chip Kelly. After a whole bunch of drama, Kelly finally landed in Philadelphia where he’s expected to add potency to a stagnant organization. Kelly is probably overvalued on the trade market, at this point. Time will tell if he can make the successful transition to head man in the NFL or if he’ll Nick Saban his way out the big leagues.
TRADE VALUE: Future first-round pick based on reputation
24. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
Garrett has the blessing of Jerry Jones – not that anyone is buying that endorsement. Another eight win season will send Garrett packing for an OC opening. Garrett was a once-promising head coach candidate that has been stifled by the wrath of Jones. He’s not the answer in Dallas but who is?
TRADE VALUE: Felix Jones
23. Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans
Munchak was hot after a successful first season but lost steam in 2012 following a six-win season. Munchak has to string wins together if he wants to stick around much longer.
TRADE VALUE: A young Billy Cannon
22. Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After starting 6-4, the Bucs sputtered to a 7-9 record in Schiano’s first season. Given where they came from, year one has to be considered mildly successful. It’s a wait and see approach with the hard-nosed Schiano.
TRADE VALUE: Jeff Garcia and cash considerations
21. Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals
Arians proved that he was head coaching material as he took over for Chuck Pagano in 2012. He was awarded the head gig in Arizona for his efforts and inherits an abysmal offense to turn around. Arians’ age works against his trade value, but he’s a worthy head man that could work wonders in Arizona.
TRADE VALUE: Carson Palmer and John Skelton
20. Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions
It’s been a rollercoaster for Schwartz in Detroit. After seeing his team progress into a Playoff contender in 2011, the bottom fell out in 2012. Schwartz will need to return this squad into Playoff contention to stick around long.
TRADE VALUE: Three Matt Millen first round picks
19. Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins
Joe Philbin’s success in year one in South Beach flew way under the radar. People tend to forget that Philbin inherited a substandard roster with a rookie quarterback and won seven games. Not bad, all things considered.
TRADE VALUE: 2015 3rd round pick
18. Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts
Pagano deserves to be higher on this list for overcoming the odds and turning around this team in year one. While Pagano missed much of the 2012 season to treatment for leukemia – it shouldn’t be overlooked the time he spent in the summer re-building this culture.
TRADE VALUE: 2014 3rd round pick
17. Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings
I really hesitated to put Fisher ahead of several of the guys directly behind him. That said, Frazier’s success last season with spotty quarterback play deserves some credit. If Frazier can turn in another Playoff berth this season he could be moving on up.