Quite often in professional sports, dominos can fall relatively quickly after one or two moves are made. (Kinda what makes the dominos analogy, huh?) For the Cleveland Browns, the search for a replacement defensive coordinator is still in process but other moves around the league could change things for the Browns.
Cleveland has already completed interviews with Jim Schwartz, Brian Flores and Dennard Wilson for the position while Jerod Mayo pulled himself from consideration with the Browns and Carolina Panthers (a head coaching interview there).
Monday, two big pieces fell in the NFL.
First, the Arizona Cardinals surprised many by hiring an outsider for their general manager position. Former Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots executive Monti Ossenfort has interviewed for a number of top positions, including with Cleveland, before landing the job in the desert.
The other big domino was that Jim Harbaugh committed to return to Michigan once again after flirting with the NFL. Most assumed that he would have gotten one of the head coaching jobs, Denver and Indianapolis were seen as favorites, but now takes himself off the market.
For the Browns, both moves could make it more difficult to hire Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator. Flores being the team’s top choice is speculation at this point but Ossenfort spent time together with Flores in New England and Harbaugh’s return to college could open up another option for Cleveland’s DC candidate.
So far, we only know of Arizona requesting a head coaching interview with Flores but more could follow.
For now, the Browns will have finished their fourth interview today and could regroup to decide what their next step might be. Waiting for Flores could risk alienating Schwartz, Desai or Wilson but Cleveland has a little bit of time to work with at this point.