In short, we don’t know. But let’s look at it, shall we?
Adam Schefter gave Gator fans an unsettling bit of news on the final week of the NFL regular season. According to Schefter, Florida football’s Dan Mullen is reportedly open to heading to the National Football League.
Now, before everyone freaks out, it’s just a report. We don’t really know what’s going to happen. College football is eight days away from ending so of course the rumor mill and coaching carousel are turning.
Well, What Are His Options?
As it stands right now there are three head coaching jobs available in the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans. We might even see jobs like the Jaguars, Chargers or (definitely) the Jets come open once the season officially ends.
The Texans already interviewed former NFL head coaches in Jim Caldwell and Marvin Lewis. Atlanta’s looked at current interim coach Raheem Morris and Detroit hasn’t talked to anyone. All present excellent quarterbacks to work with in Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford. Although some expect the Falcons to go quarterback in the draft this year and Mullen might love to develop a young guy. Another thing is Kansas City’s Eric Bieniemy might get a call for all of those jobs before Mullen. The Jags, Chargers and Jets also have young quarterbacks with all the talent in the world with Jacksonville’s coming in the form of presumptive Number 1 pick Trevor Lawrence.
At any rate, it would be hard for Mullen not to listen if (and that’s still an if) he’s serious and they come calling with all their money.
What Does This Mean for UF?
Look, it isn’t the first time Mullen was linked to the NFL. Remember when the Cowboys reportedly wanted him?
If Mullen does actually leave it’d be UF’s third coaching search in about six or seven years. It’d also be the third straight time since Urban Meyer left that a head coach didn’t last four full seasons at the school. That kind of turnover isn’t good for a program trying to re-enter the upper echelon of college football and recapture the magic it once grasped under Spurrier and Meyer.
Nonetheless, there is a good number of eligible candidates for Scott Stricklin and Co. if Mullen makes the jump like Billy Napier, Tony Elliott, Mario Cristobal and so on.
The other side of this is it’s possibly a negotiating tactic by Mullen and his agent Jimmy Sexton. There were rumblings of an extension for Mullen last March before the world went belly up. Plus there’s talk of looming changes to the defensive staff. Maybe there’s something Mullen wants (extension, more money to hire new assistants) that would make Sexton tell Schefter something like this to put pressure on the administration.
Like previously stated, people don’t really know if this will materialize at all. Mullen could interview for these jobs and end up not getting them. He could end up with an extension or some other met demand and stay at Florida, a place he never realistically planned on leaving. Time will only tell. But, Stricklin better be ready.