In Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds, the central antagonist states in the opening scene, “I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading. Where rumors, true or false, are often revealing.” This principle holds true for the National Football League rumor mill, which even includes NFL odds on a certain AFC East team going winless.
As the NFL season sprints down the final homestretch, here are the latest rumors on potential head coach firings, quarterbacks that may want to put their homes up for sale this winter, and legends potentially riding off into the sunset.
Houston Texans’ Bill O’Brien and Atlanta Falcons’ Dan Quinn were ousted mid-season, and these head coaches might not be far behind.
Adam Gase — New York Jets
As the Jets “Tank for Trevor” in hopes of landing Clemson’s star quarterback (more on that in a bit), it boggles the mind that the man on pace for his fourth straight losing season as an NFL head coach is still employed.
Then again, if you’re trying to tank for the No. 1 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, why make a mid-season change to turn things around? Heck, NFL odds of just +175 after 10 games prove that even the betting public believes a winless season is on the horizon.
Matt Nagy — Chicago Bears
When defensive-minded HC John Fox flamed out after compiling a 14-34 record from 2015-17, the Monsters of the Midway turned to Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and guru, Matt Nag
Nagy led the Bears to a surprising first-place finish in 2018, but it’s been downhill ever since – especially on the offensive side of the ball. Only the lowly Jets average fewer yards per game in 2020, and the Bears have lined up three quarterbacks behind center already despite trading up to snag Mitch Trubisky with the overall No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft.
Anthony Lynn — Los Angeles Chargers
If Anthony Lynn sees the chopping block this winter, one statistic will tell the story: The Chargers are 3-15 in one-score contests since 2019.
Matt Patricia — Detroit Lions
The Lions are on pace to finish in the NFC North cellar for the third straight year under Matt Patricia’s watch. For a franchise that has played in just 20 total playoff games despite entering the league in 1930, a new leader is needed to drastically change the club’s culture.
QB Disappointments Ready for a New Home
These familiar faces may be purchasing homes in new places next season.
Dwayne Haskins — Washington Football Team
Did Washington draft Dwayne Haskins because he went to high school locally in Maryland? Was it the gaudy 4,831 passing yards and 50 TD strikes at Ohio State that persuaded Dan Synder and company to take the QB No. 15 overall in the 2019 draft?
With only three NFL wins under his belt over two seasons, perhaps we’ll never know, but it’s hard to imagine Haskins donning the burgundy and gold much longer.
Nick Foles — Chicago Bears
Slap an Eagles’ helmet on Nick Foles, and the man is a God.
He threw for an astounding 27 touchdowns to just two interceptions in his first stint in Philly in 2013. After uneventful stops in St. Louis and Kansas City, Foles resurrected his career during his second stop with the Eagles by taking over for an injured Carson Wentz late in the 2017 season. All Foles did was lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history while taking home MVP honors.
In 2019, the former Arizona star signed a four-year contract worth $88 with Jacksonville. An injury-plagued 0-4 season resulted in a trade to Chicago, where his performance has been pedestrian at best this year.
Mitch Trubisky — Chicago Bears
If indeed Matt Nagy is shown the door in Chicago this offseason, it’s hard to imagine a new regime expressing interest in retaining the quarterback’s services. The Bears already declined his fifth-year option, and with a franchise tag unlikely, Trubisky, who was benched in favor of Nick Foles early in the 2020 campaign, should have his sights elsewhere
Legends on the Brink of Retirement
These NFL legends have provided us with decades of entertainment, but as the saying goes, “Father time remains undefeated.”
Drew Brees — New Orleans Saints
Having cracked what seems like every rib in his body this season, along with a punctured lung, Brees was already struggling with the deep ball. Considering the Purdue legend turns 42 early next year, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be back.
Tom Brady — Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Will Tom Brady ride off into the sunset à la John Elway in 1998, or will it be a Joe Montana-type moment where a legend joins a new team in hopes of one last championship only to bow out early in the playoffs?
Frank Gore — New York Jets
The current NFL season is not how the third all-time leading rusher in NFL history should go out.
With the Jets staring down the barrel of a winless season, and running behind a woeful offensive line, Frank Gore would need to play at least one more year if he hopes to catch Walter Payton’s 16,726 career rushing yards for second place all-time.
Here’s to hoping defensive lines don’t crush his spirits and bones by the end of this season.
Larry Fitzgerald — Arizona Cardinals
Widely considered one of the league’s classiest players, the 11x Pro Bowl wideout is without a touchdown through 10 contests and is on pace for the least amount of receiving yards in his career
Then again, he’s an incredible mentor to up-and-coming QB Kyler Murray — a signal-caller so dynamic that many online sports betting sites project him as a top MVP candidate alongside stalwarts like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers.
2021 NFL Draft Buzz
2021 NFL Draft rumor buzz centers on one man, and one man only: QB Trevor Lawrence.
With the New York Jets primed to select first in next year’s drafts, rumors are swirling that the presumptive No. 1 selection could return to Clemson for his senior year to avoid the hot mess that is the Jets’ franchise.
Former Jets’ legend Joe Namath went so far as to tell ESPN he believes Lawrence could force New York’s hand by demanding a trade should they draft the ACC star against his wishes.
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Andy Coffaro is a sports journalist and managing editor with published work in USA Today, MSN, HERO Sports, The Mercury News, East Bay Times, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine, and more. He graduated from San José State University with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Sport Management. Follow him on Twitter @andycoffaro.