NFL execs rank the head-coach openings

Six NFL teams began looking for new head coaches Monday.

Some jobs are more appealing than others from coaching candidates’ perspectives. Insight from coaches, execs and other league insiders placed the six openings in the following order:

“I wish the Lions, my coaching staff, our players and the loyal Lions fans, who were very supportive, much continued success in the future.”

Caldwell, 62, had winning seasons in three of his four years in Detroit, but the Lions missed the playoffs twice in the past three years, including this season, when they went 9-7.

Tomlin said he saw Brown on Tuesday morning.

The former Buccaneers and Raiders coach is always a prime subject of speculation, but something about this year feels a little bit more realistic. Gruden is only 54, and his youngest child is finishing high school. He’s also in a spot from which he doesn’t have to jump at any old job, but there are a couple that could appeal due to location and quarterback situations. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” Gruden said on ESPN radio on Nov. 15. “I just know this: I’m going to continue to give my best effort to the game, stay prepared. I love Monday Night Football, don’t plan on leaving, but as you know in life, you never say never to nothing.”

Note: The Raiders are preparing to pursue Gruden with an offer so strong it could even include an ownership stake in the team, according to league sources.

There has long been a sense that Harbaugh, who was 44-19-1 with one Super Bowl appearance in four seasons as coach of the 49ers from 2011-14, would like to try the NFL again. Should he make himself available, he’d be very intriguing to more than one team.