It was "Black Monday" around the National Football League on Monday after the 2020 regular season wrapped up on Sunday.
A number of teams around the league have already made an executive decision to fire head coaches or general managers during the course of the season, but others followed suit late Sunday and early Monday, as they look to change the course of their franchise.
After the dust had all settled, a total of six teams are left with head coaching openings - the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers and the New York Jets.
Now the search is on for some new blood in the head coaching carousel around the NFL, and the Buffalo Bills may have one of the top targets for several teams going forward.
Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has been gaining traction as a head coaching candidate for teams after the success he has had guiding the Buffalo offense, and also with the progression of quarterback Josh Allen over the last three seasons.
Already, two teams have reportedly sent their requests to the Bills to interview Daboll for their head coaching vacancies. Those teams are the Jets and the Chargers.
It was speculated for quite a while about the future of Adam Gase as head coach of the Jets, especially after a terrible start to the 2020 season in New York. Even after earning two win in the final three games of the season to end the year 2-14, the Jets moved on from Gase shortly after their Week 17 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.
As for the Chargers, they, too, got out to a terrible start, going 3-9 in the first 13 weeks of the season under the leadership of head coach Anthony Lynn. That came despite a strong start to the career of likely Offensive Rookie of the Year, Justin Herbert under center.
While the Chargers finished the season with four-straight wins to end 2020 with a 7-9 record, the clock struck midnight for Lynn, who was officially relieved of his duties on Monday.
Daboll will certainly be an attractive candidate for most teams, especially those with young quarterbacks with some high upside going forward.
The Jets still have Sam Darnold under center, but the future of the quarterback position in New York is still up in the air.
After losing out to the Jaguars for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which is expected to be Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Jets will settle for the No. 2 pick. With the pick, the Jets could look to draft another quarterback like Ohio State's Justin Fields and move on from the former third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. New York could also use the second pick to either draft a player to help support Darnold, or even trade out of the pick and get some more assets.
The 23-year-old signal caller in New York has had a rough three seasons in the NFL, leading the Jets to a 13-25 record, while throwing for 8.097 total yards, 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. This past season saw Darnold put up his worst season to date, throwing for just 2,208 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions, while completing just 56.6% of his pass attempts.
As for the Chargers, they have the quarterback of their future in Herbert, who was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The 22-year-old had a stellar first season in the NFL, completing 66.6% of his passes for 4,336 yards, while also throwing for an NFL rookie record of 31 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. Herbert took over the starting role in Los Angeles in Week 2 after quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a punctured lung in a freak medical accident, and he never looked back from there.
Another advantage the Chargers may have heading into the process of interviewing Daboll as a head coaching candidate is the familiarity he has with general manager Tom Telesco. Daboll and Telesco both went to St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, where Telesco graduated in 1991 and Daboll in 1993.
When asked about his potential future as a head coach in the NFL on Monday, Daboll said he is focused on the task ahead of him, and that's getting ready for the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday afternoon for the AFC Wild Card Round.
"I'll say the same things that I've said over the last few weeks, we have a very important job to do this week," Daboll said in his weekly Zoom conference call with the Buffalo media. "We have a short week, and everything that I'm going to do, and I know our staff will do, is focus on the Colts and try to put our guys in the best position. I understand the question and I'm humbled by it, but I'm really focused on what we need to do here."
"How we built the offense over the last couple of years, I think this is our best year. So when you have a year like we have, you're going to get attention," said head coach Sean McDermott of his offensive coordinator on Monday. "I think Brian's done a really good job, and so I think that's quite natural that he's getting the attention that he is."
If the Bills win their Wild Card game on Saturday against the Colts, Daboll can interview for other teams' head coaching vacancies beginning on Sunday, but that interview can only be conducted virtually. No in-person interviews will be allowed.