As if the coaching speculation in New England hasn't been interesting enough, it became even more intriguing on Tuesday afternoon as the Titans announced the firing of former Coach of the Year Mike Vrabel. The news came just days after reports suggested he was interested in succeeding Bill Belichick as soon as next season if there was a breakup with the Patriots coach, making it seem coincidental timing, to say the least.
Vrabel's availability opens the door for an easy return to his former team, a scenario that has been speculated about in recent weeks since rumors claimed he was the frontrunner in the eyes of Kraft. Trades were discussed to make it happen, but now that's one barrier the organization won't have to break through to get a deal done.
But they may run into a different problem.
Because he is a highly respected coach by the league and the Titans' locker room, he will inevitably be a hot commodity. There are five teams with head coach vacancies at the moment, meaning those teams are ten steps ahead of the Patriots already, and that will continue since the decision on Belichick is said not to be imminent.
One of those other teams will surely set up an interview with Vrabel before Kraft does, which increases the chances of him deciding to sign with another team before Belichick's fate is decided.
4 teams that could steal Mike Vrabel from the Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers
With a team in flux after a less-than-exciting tenure with Brandon Staley, the Chargers may be interested in bringing in a proven head coach who, even after being fired, has the support and respect of the players on the Titans.
They're not a team too far off from being a contender, with Justin Herbert locked in at quarterback, playmakers on offense in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and a solid defense led by Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. It's a dream roster for a defensive-minded coach who has seen great success putting together a competent offense while improving a stalled quarterback.
Starting over on the West Coast with not much to worry about roster-wise could be a nice change of pace and an appealing offer for Vrabel.