Jets CEO Christopher Johnson sees the Jets as a "really good spot" for a new head coach. They've got a franchise quarterback, "some great young players." And, of course, they're in New York.
"Some people will be attracted to (that), maybe some won't," Johnson said. "But if you make it here, you're a freakin' legend."
That's true. Whoever leads the Jets to their first Super Bowl in 50-plus years will be a sports immortal. That possibility could be attractive for some. Overall, the Jets can offer a pretty attractive situation regardless for a new coach.
Just probably not the most attractive one.
Here's a look at the eight available jobs and how they might look to the coaching candidates who have options. They're ranked in order from best job, to the worst:
1. Green Bay Packers - With all due respect to Johnson, it's hard to beat the "freakin' legends" who have won with this franchise, one of the most storied in NFL history. There are literally streets named after them in Green Bay. OK, maybe it's not the same as a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes, but would a statue alongside Vince Lombardi's do?
This job also comes with, barely arguably, the NFL's best quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. And it comes with a small media glare that doesn't treat coaches with the same jaded eye we do in New York. The Packers and their faithful have proven to be patient, too, giving a new coach plenty of time to build a consistent winner.
Really, if you can get past living two hours from the nearest major city (Milwaukee) and the bitter winter chills, there's nothing not to like about this opening at all.
2. Cleveland Browns - Hard to believe, but the sad-sack Browns are now considered a franchise on the rise and some around the NFL are envious of the talent they've assembled. They seem to have hit on quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick last year, and that's huge. He has play-makers around him like receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end David Njoku and running back Nick Chubb, plus a defense that includes Myles Garrett up front and Jabrill Peppers and Denzel Ward in the back.
The Browns look ready to finally pop, and they showed signs of that once Hue Jackson was fired as their head coach, nearly making a run at the playoffs. They also have the perception of stability now, with well-respected GM John Dorsey in place. A new coach can win very quickly here.
3. Jets - The two most attractive things about this job are Sam Darnold and the $100 million-plus in salary cap space the Jets are projected to have. Both are huge. Darnold looks like the real deal as a franchise quarterback, and all that cap room could help a new coach load up to win quickly.
That said, there's not a lot of respect for what's on the roster at the moment. The offense needs a complete overhaul around Darnold. The defense, outside of Jamal Adams, is filled with underachievers at best. The Jets need someone who thinks they can get production out of the defensive players, and probably a handful of new players there, too.
But Johnson is right, there are spoils that go to the man who can do it with the Jets. It will take some patience, it will take a thick skin and someone who can handle the criticism in New York that won't take long to build. But the building blocks might be in place, and potential riches await.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The last coach to get more than three years in Tampa was Jon Gruden, who finished up his tenure there a decade ago. So this is a short-term job. And considering they haven't been to the playoffs since 2007 and have had losing records in seven of the last eight seasons, it's hard to believe the next coach will break that trend.
Now, they did have the NFL's third-best offense last offseason, but presumably they'll be losing the architect of that, offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Still, a new coach does have a quarterback in Jameis Winston to work with and he does have franchise-caliber talent. And there are sporadic pieces to build around (receiver Mike Evans, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul).
The new coach just has to do it fast.
5. Denver Broncos - Heading into his ninth year running the franchise, Hall of Famer John Elway has presided over a revolving door of quarterbacks, quarterbacks of the future, and head coaches. Really, if he hadn't lucked into Peyton Manning his resume wouldn't nearly be as impressive. So a new coach has to expect little stability and few answers at quarterback, beyond the fact that they currently have journeyman Case Keenum.
The talent, there, is also underwhelming, which is a big reason why they went 11-21 over the last two seasons and haven't been to the playoffs since Manning led them to a Super Bowl championship four seasons ago. Beyond Von Miller, who is about to turn 30, and young pass rusher Bradley Chubb, there isn't a lot to build around at the moment.
6. Miami Dolphins - There is questionable talent, a franchise quarterback in Ryan Tannehill that may need to be replaced, they've been to the playoffs just twice in the last 17 seasons and they're stuck in a division with the New England Patriots. So what, exactly, is to like?
Not a lot. But for starters, the owner, Stephen Ross, appears willing to do two important things: Accept that the team is in a full rebuilding mode, and spend whatever is necessary. That's good, even if it doesn't necessarily mean winning will come quickly. The search for a franchise quarterback could be a long one.
And anyone waiting for the Patriots to give up their division reign soon is probably hoping for a miracle.
7. Cincinnati Bengals - Any talk about a patient ownership has to start here, where Marvin Lewis lasted 16 seasons despite never winning a playoff game once. In fact, he only made the playoffs twice in his first eight seasons and still wasn't fired.
That will be a selling point. Will the presence of franchise quarterback Andy Dalton be one, too? He's not quite top tier and he'll turn 32 next season. They do have some players on defense (Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict), although the Lewis legacy includes a locker room filled with questionable characters. There's some cleaning up to do and some rebuilding needed, particularly along the offensive line.
But the next coach will probably get plenty of time to do it. Don't expect it to happen through free agency, though. The Bengals are notoriously cheap. They even run a bare-bones scouting department, which won't help.
8. Arizona Cardinals - Several coaches have already turned down the chance to interview in Arizona, and one reason is the fact that they just fired coach Steve Wilks after only one season. The fact that they let Wilks go after one year - and one year with a rookie quarterback - is an enormous red flag. How could they sour on the choice they made so quickly and in such an unwinnable situation?
That alone puts this job at the bottom of the list. Also, Josh Rosen looks at the moment like the worst of the five rookie quarterbacks from the first round of the draft last year. It's too early to call him a bust, but his play has raised some concerns. They do have the No. 1 pick and that could be a huge selling point. But everything else, including the current talent on the roster, makes this a job of last resort.