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NFL coaching searches 2022: How do Giants stack up against other openings, including Texans, Vikings, Jaguars, more?

NJ.com logo NJ.com 1/14/2022 Darryl Slater, nj.com
New York Giants owner John Mara speaks with injured quarterback Daniel Jones (8) during pregame warmups as the Giants prepare to play the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants owner John Mara speaks with injured quarterback Daniel Jones (8) during pregame warmups as the Giants prepare to play the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

The NFL currently has eight head coaching openings.

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman during pregame warmups as the Giants prepare to play the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman during pregame warmups as the Giants prepare to play the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

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New York Giants owner John Mara during pregame warmups as the Giants prepare to play the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants owner John Mara during pregame warmups as the Giants prepare to play the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

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New York Giants owner John Mara (left) speaks with Washington Football Team assistant coach Jack Del Rio during pregame warmups on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants owner John Mara (left) speaks with Washington Football Team assistant coach Jack Del Rio during pregame warmups on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

So let’s rank the seven true vacancies — since the Raiders are in the playoffs with interim coach Rich Bisaccia, who might get the full-time job — and see how the Giants stack up, after firing Joe Judge.

New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) caught 3 passes for 22 yards against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) caught 3 passes for 22 yards against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7.

Each team’s former head coach is noted. And it’s also worth noting that three of these teams have a general manager opening, too — Giants, Bears, and Vikings.

New York Giants offensive tackle Korey Cunningham (79) checks in with the official to be an eligible receiver during the second quarter against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants offensive tackle Korey Cunningham (79) checks in with the official to be an eligible receiver during the second quarter against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7.

(The Steelers, who will bring back coach Mike Tomlin, will soon have a GM opening, because Kevin Colbert is retiring after the 2022 NFL Draft. But Pittsburgh seems likely to promote from within for that job.)

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) takes a bow after he scored a 22-yard touchdown against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) takes a bow after he scored a 22-yard touchdown against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7.

These rankings go from most appealing job to least appealing.

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) scores a rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) scores a rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7.

1. Broncos (Vic Fangio): They have the most talented roster of any coach-needy team. Quarterback is an issue, but perhaps they will wind up trading for Aaron Rodgers. They’re ninth in the NFL in salary cap space ($42 million). And George Paton is a well-regarded general manager. One potential issue is that the Broncos will be up for sale soon.

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) catches a pass for a 22-yard touchdown against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) catches a pass for a 22-yard touchdown against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7.

2. Dolphins (Brian Flores): Stephen Ross is a disconnected owner who let GM Chris Grier win a power struggle over Flores, a good coach. Possible red flag there, since Grier now has a lot of power in Miami. But that shouldn’t be an issue for a coach who just wants to coach, while having minimal or no say in personnel. (That’s not every coach, of course.) Miami’s offensive line is a concern, but the defense is solid. Quarterback is a big question mark, with Tua Tagovailoa’s limitations. Still, the Dolphins have the NFL’s most cap space ($73 million).

New York Giants watch during the fourth quarter as the Giants lose to Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants watch during the fourth quarter as the Giants lose to Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

3. Bears (Matt Nagy): The jury is still out on quarterback Justin Fields, who produced mixed results as a rookie in 2021. But he has potential, at least. The Bears must build around Fields, since their offense has many shortcomings. But ownership was pretty darn patient with Nagy and GM Ryan Pace, so that’s a plus. The Bears are 12th in cap space ($39 million). Yet they have a lot less draft capital this year than the Broncos and Dolphins. The Bears are 29th in Tankathon’s draft capital power rankings, compared to seventh and 17th for Denver and Miami, respectively.

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) scores a rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) scores a rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7.

4. Vikings (Mike Zimmer): Kirk Cousins is a proven quarterback, but he has an insane cap number in 2022 ($45 million) that the Vikings can’t easily get out of. However, this is the final year of his contract. And as with Chicago, the new coach in Minnesota will be starting fresh with a new GM. The Vikings’ search process (GM first, then coach) will presumably ensure that there won’t be a dysfunctional arranged marriage between GM and coach. (It’s possible the Bears could wind up with that, since they’re running concurrent searches.) Still, the Vikings are in cap hell. Just three teams have less cap space than them. They’re 12th in draft capital and have some good pieces, like wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Ownership has shown a track record of being patient, too.

Injured New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones walks off the field after the Giants lost 22-7 to Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS Injured New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones walks off the field after the Giants lost 22-7 to Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

5. Jaguars (Urban Meyer): Things can only improve in Jacksonville after Meyer’s drama-filled dumpster fire last season. The Jaguars have the third-most cap space ($61 million) and are third in draft capital. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has loads of potential, though he didn’t look great in 2021. So that might be a concern, since it’s not like the Jaguars will be getting rid of him any time soon, after drafting him first overall last year. Jacksonville retained GM Trent Baalke, perhaps a foolish move that could be a turnoff for coaching candidates. Roster-wise, Jacksonville’s defense has major issues. Low expectations in this job, but it’s also not like it’s a prominent market historically.

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge (center) walks off after the Giants lost to the Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants head coach Joe Judge (center) walks off after the Giants lost to the Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

6. Giants (Joe Judge): The GM will pick the coach, so it won’t be an arranged marriage. That’s a plus. And the Giants do have the second-most draft capital, behind only the Jets. But the roster is an absolute mess — including at quarterback, with Daniel Jones — and the cap hell that Dave Gettleman left behind leaves little room for improvement. Just four teams have less cap space than the Giants right now.

New York Giants assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on the Giants bench late in the fourth quarter as they lose to Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on the Giants bench late in the fourth quarter as they lose to Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

John Mara has now fired three straight coaches after just two seasons. You’d think — maybe, just maybe — that he will be more patient with the next coach. But ultimately, this is an unforgiving market and an exhausted fan base that has high expectations.

A fan dressed as a clown holds up a sign after the Giants lost 22-7 to Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS A fan dressed as a clown holds up a sign after the Giants lost 22-7 to Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

Mara has shown that he can be swayed by public unrest — that’s surely part of the reason he fired Judge — and you have to wonder if fans are willing to put up with more losing after seeing the Giants go 61-100 over the past 10 seasons. The reality is, there isn’t a clear path to this team suddenly becoming a lot better in 2022.

New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) becomes emotional as he walks off the field after the Giants lost to Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) becomes emotional as he walks off the field after the Giants lost to Washington Football Team, 22-7, on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

7. Texans (David Culley): Houston fired him somewhat late in the usual firing process, on Thursday. Texans ownership is an absolute mess, the new coach is just going to be GM Nick Caserio’s puppet, and the quarterback situation is a disaster, since Deshaun Watson likely soon will be traded. It’s clear the Texans are the least desirable opening, even though they’re sixth in draft capital and own the No. 3 overall pick. They’re also just 19th in cap space.

Fans in section 101 wearing bags on their heads gesture late the second quarter as the New York Giants trail the Washington Football Team, 6-0, at halftime on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS Fans in section 101 wearing bags on their heads gesture late the second quarter as the New York Giants trail the Washington Football Team, 6-0, at halftime on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

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On 3rd-and-9 with 5:01 to go in the second quarter, New York Giants quarterback Jake Fromm (17) runs the ball into the line of scrimmage for a second time with the Giants pinned deep in their own end against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS On 3rd-and-9 with 5:01 to go in the second quarter, New York Giants quarterback Jake Fromm (17) runs the ball into the line of scrimmage for a second time with the Giants pinned deep in their own end against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J.

Darryl Slater may be reached at dslater@njadvancemedia.com.

New York Giants quarterback Jake Fromm (17) throws a game-ending interception late in the fourth quarter against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants quarterback Jake Fromm (17) throws a game-ending interception late in the fourth quarter against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) gained 30 yards on 11 carries in a losing effort against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7. © Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) gained 30 yards on 11 carries in a losing effort against the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in East Rutherford, N.J. Washington won, 22-7.
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