As he nears the end of his second season as Detroit Lions' offensive coordinator, Ben Johnson will be in-demand for head coaching interviews again. His desire to entertain said opportunities is a question mark, after he took himself out of the mix last year, but there will be some very appealing options out there this time around.
It's fair to assume head coaching jobs with some kind of stability or promise at quarterback will most appeal to Johnson. A good organization from the top down will also surely be a priority, which would seem to eliminate at least one job opening for him.
A splashy report surfaced on Thursday, from Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, suggesting Johnson wants $15 million a year to leave the Lions and become a head coach. The report reeks of an agenda, from somewhere, to try to knock down Johnson's head coaching prospects for the upcoming hiring cycle. Johnson's agent, naturally, quickly refuted the report.
Ben Johnson head coaching rumors: A sneaky good job opening could be very appealing
It's also obvious the Washington Commanders will be making a change. Ron Rivera will be allowed to finish the season, but he likely will not last to noon on "Black Monday". Regarding the Commanders' job, Russini pointed to it as an appealing opening.
"I still can’t believe I typed Washington, a team that has had 21 quarterbacks over 20 years, as the top destination spot for coaches, but the Commanders are on the rise. They might be able to land their top candidate once they begin that process.”
The Commanders have a new owner, who will presumably spare no expense to try to create a winning organization. They also have a ton of 2024 cap space ($74.5 million projected right now, second-most in the league), a potential top-five pick in next April's draft, four top-100 picks and a promising young quarterback (Sam Howell) who will have two years left on a fifth-round pick rookie contract.
Johnson would find a lot to like in Washington, if they want him and he's willing to be part of their interview process. A sneaky head coaching opening for the Lions' offensive coordinator may not stay sneaky very much longer.