Assessing the Atlanta Falcons Options for their Head Coaching Vacancy

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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Now that the Atlanta Falcons have officially fired head coach Arthur Smith, there will be speculation around all types of options regarding their next head coach. With so many candidates in the coaching pool, we’re going to break them into three categories (Highly Unlikely, Could Happen, Probable) based on the likelihood of them joining the team. Additional analysis will be included for each option.

Highly Unlikely: Although these candidates may be strong coaches, they seem unlikely to join Atlanta

Jim Harbaugh – After guiding Michigan to a National Championship this month, there is a ton of chatter around Jim Harbaugh returning to the NFL. Unfortunately we’ve been hearing this for years and it seems more likely he stays with Michigan on a substantial contract that ensures he’ll be the highest paid coach in college football for the next few years.

Bill Belichick – Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history, but it seems his time with the New England Patriots is coming to an end. Although he has one year left on his current contract, there is speculation that he could be fired after a rough stretch over the past few years. If he does leave New England, it’s entirely possible he could join Atlanta, but it seems more likely he’d go to Washington to remain in the Northeast.

Pete Carroll – In an unexpected move, the Seahawks relieved Pete Carroll of his head coaching duties. Although it sounds like he’s likely sticking around in an advisory role, I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Carroll still has the coaching itch and decides to take on another opportunity. A possible return to LA with the Chargers seems more likely than a move across the country though.