Shanahan has options … if he wants them

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Mike Shanahan‘s stunning dismissal in Denver immediately made him the best candidate on the coaching market. But does he even want to coach in 2009? He has $20 million remaining on his contract, and even with an inevitable bidding war that will begin at about $25 million, Shanahan isn’t even thinking about coaching right now.

Shanahan sat down with our own Adam Schefter this week on NFL GameDay Morning (you can watch Part I and Part II) and said that he wants to get back into coaching. Some day. Right now, he is committed to taking two weeks off before going forward.

A number of the current NFL openings could be filled by the time Shanahan comes back from vacation. And if you follow Schefter’s blog, you would know that a few of these teams are already moving fast. But if these teams would wait, and if Shanahan was willing to jump back into the game right after a painful break up, I believe these would be the best situations for him.

  • N.Y. Jets: Shanahan would inherit a playoff-ready team and a veteran quarterback in Lord Favre who could assimilate the full breadth of Shanahan’s offense. He would inherit a 3-4 defense, which he prefers, that is in need of a qualified defensive coordinator. Hey, Romeo Crennel is available. The Jets already reached out to Shanahan, but was told that he was going to take a few weeks off. The Jets are also looking at another coach with a Super Bowl ring, Brian Billick, who will interview with the Jets this week. Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski will interview Tuesday. Current Jets assistants Bill Callahan and Brian Schottenheimer are also candidates.
  • Cleveland Browns: Speaking of Crennel, Romeo reportedly intimated he would be willing to stay on in Cleveland if the right head coach came about. Like Shanahan, who would have the luxury of grooming a semi-raw Brady Quinn who was groomed under Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. That’s not a bad place to start. The Browns are actively talking to former Jets coach Eric Mangini. But Randy Lerner is known to be unpredictable and likes to do the unexpected. Like maybe wait the two weeks to talk to Shanahan?
  • Detroit Lions: The Lions have the first pick in the draft and could be in the position to draft Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford or Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Both are underclassmen who could be motivated to enter the NFL Draft to play for Shanahan. In addition, the Lions have an additional set of picks that includes a first-rounder complements of the Dallas Cowboys who overpaid for Roy Williams. But would Shanahan be willing to yield power of those picks to new general manager Martin Mayhew?

Jamie Dukes

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