1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Part of why I love Jacksonville for Bieniemy is that he’d be able to build something from the ground up. The Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL this year and probably had a worse roster than any other team on this list. But it’s hard not to be incredibly optimistic about the future of the Jaguars.
One of Eric Bieniemy’s gifts is leadership—not just the “rah-rah” kind, though. He’s a precise organizer, an expert quality controller, and a very effective communicator. These traits are invaluable to a rebuilding team. Bieniemy is simply “the guy” the Jaguars need. And equally, Bieniemy would probably relish the opportunity to progress and manage all the young talent Jacksonville will be acquiring via draft and free agency.
Jacksonville holds two first-round picks and two seconds in this year’s draft, including the number one overall pick. If we assume the Jaguars choose QB Trevor Lawrence first overall, Bieniemy would be given the unique task of developing one of the best QB prospects in recent history.
The Jaguars also hold north of $70 million in cap space. They could easily be players for big-name free agents, including guys like Allen Robinson, Matthew Judon, and Hunter Henry. Now, personnel moves depend largely on the GM hire, but one has to assume a general strategy of drafting Lawrence and adding some key pieces in free agency is a given.
There are some downsides to Jacksonville, though. For one, they are an inferior roster as of right now. PFF ranks them last in the NFL in terms of overall team grade. They are coming off a season in which they shipped off many foundational starters. Further, there some uncertainty regarding the owner’s involvement in personnel decisions.
In other words, it may take some time. The Jaguars are a relatively new franchise, and they don’t have a rich culture of winning, save for the 2017 AFC championship appearance. This opportunity would provide EB with the chance to build a culture—the thing he’s tremendous at—and the potential for cementing himself as the hallmark coach of the Jags’ young franchise. I like the Jaguars the most for Bieniemy because I think it is the job he was built for and one he’ll thrive at.