One of the NFL’s top coaching candidates could be even more highly sought-after if he can bring a successful quarterback with him.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Pat Shurmur could be an extra attractive candidate for “quarterback-needy” teams who are also looking to fill a void at head coach. Shurmur, along with free-agent-to-be Case Keenum could present a 2-for-1 deal (of sorts) that could be of interest to teams with needs at football’s two most important positions. A source tells Schefter that the Minnesota Vikings’ top play caller and starting quarterback “both think highly of each other,” which could lead to the two leaving Minnesota as a package deal.
Keenum completed nearly 68 percent of his passes, posted a 98.3 quarterback rating, and threw for a career-best 3,547 yards filling in for Sam Bradford, who was trying to hold it down in place of Teddy Bridgewater, this year. And Shurmur is in his first full season as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator – he replaced Norv Turner in November 2016 and took Minnesota’s offense to another level with a cast of unheralded playmakers.
In any case, the Bears, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, and Arizona Cardinals are the remaining teams with head coach openings. Of those teams, the Cardinals have the least stable quarterback situation after Carson Palmer’s retirement. The Giants are relatively unstable at the position, especially after watching Ben McAdoo bungle the passing of the torch from Eli Manning to
Davis Webb Geno Smith before being fired in season.
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace did interview Shurmur on Friday for the team’s head-coaching job – and we later explored Shurmur’s candidacy at length – but because of Mitch Trubisky’s presence at the top of the depth chart, Chicago might be an unlikely landing spot if Shurmur insisted on bringing Keenum with him.
Don’t get me wrong, Shurmur *will* take a head coach job even if it means he can’t bring Keenum with him (you don’t just turn down a promotion your shot), but the point is that there may be teams out there willing to accommodate both guys, and the Bears probably aren’t one of them. So unless he loves Chicago or they’re offering him a disproportionately large sum of money, he may not be headed towards the Bears. Fortunately, the 2-1 thing is far from a guarantee and there are still a lot of great coaching candidates out there. Stay patient, friends, the Bears will get their guy.