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There won’t be as many NFL head coaching openings as previously estimated

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A few projected job openings are not that open at all.

Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Earlier in the week, based on a handful of rumors and a report from FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, we suggested the Detroit Lions may be among a dozen different head coaching vacancies in 2018.

Though we’ve yet to reach Black Monday, or even the final game of the season, it already appears that estimate was a bit bloated.

Here is our original list:

But since that article has been published a few things have happened:

  1. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has publicly denied reports that he will be quitting at the end of the season, calling such reports “fake news.”
  2. The Buccaneers have told Dirk Koetter they’re sticking with him in 2018
  3. Todd Bowles was given a contract extension for the Jets
  4. Jay Gruden is reportedly not in danger of losing his job in Washington

Throw in the fact that Browns and Cowboys management have publicly thrown their support behind their current head coaches, and the list of 13 teams may actually turn out to be just 5-7 teams.

If that’s the case, that is actually a perfectly normal number of coaching changes in a year. Take a look at the recent history in NFL coaching changes.

Post-2016 season: 6 coaching changes
2015: 7
2014: 7
2013: 7
2012: 8

Many, myself included, thought that the high amount of coaching turnover could be a reason for the Lions to hold off on firing Jim Caldwell this offseason. With so much competition for the next great head coach, it would be no guarantee that Detroit would get their man, even if their situation appears to be one of the most desirable for a new head coach.

But with a much smaller pool of teams likely looking for a new coaching staff, there’s now one fewer reason for Detroit to keep their head coach around for another year.