The Arizona Cardinals are targeting Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon to be their next head coach, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday, per a source.
The Cardinals waited weeks to interview Gannon, which they did on Monday, while the Eagles were making their Super Bowl run.
Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill announced prior to Super Bowl LVII that the franchise would pause its head coaching search until after the game. Once the Cardinals recommenced their search, they wasted no time tabbing Gannon to be the franchise’s next leader.
Gannon and the Eagles lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Eagles’ defense led the NFL in sacks with 70 during the regular season, collecting eight more in three playoff games. Gannon’s unit gave up the second-fewest yards in the NFL last season, ranking seventh in points allowed.
Gannon, 40, has no previous experience as a head coach. He has been coaching in the NFL since 2007, working with six teams during that span — including three years as a pro and college scout with the St. Louis Rams from 2009 to 2011. Gannon was hired to the post of Eagles defensive coordinator when Nick Sirianni was named head coach in 2021.
Arizona had previously interviewed several candidates to replace former head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was let go following the Cardinals’ 4-13 campaign. But the majority of those candidates either took other jobs or took themselves out of the running. The Cardinals conducted virtual second interviews with Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo last week, prior to the team speaking to Gannon for the first time.
The Cardinals are already headlong into an offseason of change.
In addition to Kingsbury being fired, there also was a change at general manager, with Monti Ossenfort being named the new GM to take the place of Steve Keim, who stepped down after the season for health reasons.
In addition, J.J. Watt and A.J. Green have announced their retirements. The Cardinals are slated to pick third overall in the 2023 NFL Draft and currently have a little less than $15 million in salary-cap space, according to Over The Cap.
But the biggest question might be the relationship of quarterback Kyler Murray and Gannon. Things didn’t work out in the end with Kingsbury and Murray, and the quarterback already could miss time early next season coming off a torn ACL. The Cardinals are tied to Murray, who is in Year 2 of a massive $230 million extension the team signed him to last offseason.
Can Gannon and Murray coexist? Cardinals fans are eager to find out.
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