Matt Nagy's time as head coach of the Chicago Bears has an expiration date.
According to Tom Pelissero, the NFL passed a new rule which allows teams to begin searching for a new head coach during the final two weeks of the NFL season.
Interview requests for coaching candidates "can go out starting 8 a.m. Tuesday Dec. 28."
The caveat, a team can only begin the head coach search " if their head coach who began the season is no longer employed or has been given notice he won’t return."
That gives the Bears a clear deadline to make a decision.
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The Bears have never fired a head coach midseason in over 100 seasons. Because of this rule, that might change.
Nagy could still finish out the season, however. Pelissero says teams can give notice to the current coach that he won't return. Presumably that means coaches in the final year of their contract, but there was a report earlier this year that the Bears informed Nagy he would be fired at a later date.
That date came and went without a change at head coach.
Because teams can now get a head start on their hiring process, it behooves them to act decisively if they’re considering a coaching change. That edge alone could push the McCaskeys to fire Nagy before the season is done.
Per Pelissero’s previous reporting the hiring practice change came about last October amid discussions about expanding the Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview ethnic minority candidates for head coaching and other high-profile front office jobs. As part of this year’s Rooney Rule expansion, all teams must now interview at least two ethnic minority candidates for all general manager/EVP of football operations roles. In addition, they must interview at least two ethnic minority candidates for all coordinator roles.