Vance Joseph has been fired as head coach of the Denver Broncos after back-to-back double-digit losing seasons, while Adam Gase was let go in Miami following a 7-9 campaign. Marvin Lewis and Steve Wilks are also out in Cincinnati and Arizona.
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Joseph met with general manager John Elway on Monday after completing a 6-10 season and was dismissed with two years and about $ 6 million US left on his contract.
"Although we decided to make this change, I believe Vance is a good football coach who has a bright future in this league," Elway said in a statement ahead of his news conference scheduled for later Monday.
"Vance made a lot of strides and deserves credit for how hard and competitively the team played this season. There's always going to be a high standard here — the bottom line is we need to win more football games. We're excited about the foundation that's being built and look forward to putting in the work to get the Broncos back on the winning track."
Despite that foundation, the Broncos' job isn't what it was just two years ago when Joseph replaced Gary Kubiak, who stepped down a year after leading Denver to the Super Bowl 50 championship.
'Special place with great fans'
Joseph, who's expected to be a candidate for the Cincinnati job, thanked the Broncos for giving him his first NFL head coaching job.
"It's disappointing not being able to finish what we started, but I'm incredibly proud of the players and coaches for how they fought and worked every week," Joseph said in a statement. "I also appreciate the support staffs who put in countless hours behind the scenes helping our team. This is a special place with great fans."
Still, he said, "I think we've put a lot of work in. There's a foundation that's been laid here that should pay off in the future." Joseph said he wanted to "come back and make this thing right."
Slew of injuries biggest regret
Owner Stephen Ross made the move after Gase went 23-26 with the Dolphins. A 42-17 loss Sunday at Buffalo sealed his fate.
The next coach will be the Dolphins' 10th since 2004, including three interim coaches. Stuck on a treadmill of mediocrity, they've finished with six to eight wins in nine of the past 10 seasons, and haven't won a playoff game since 2000.
Last week Gase said his biggest regret about 2018 was a slew of injuries. The Dolphins lost 13 key players to season-ending injuries, including two top offensive linemen, their best run stopper, top cornerback Xavien Howard and dynamic receivers Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed five games.
Gase was seen as a rising young star coach when the Dolphins hired him, and even more so after they went 10-6 in his first season and made the playoffs for the only time since 2008.
Lewis winless in post-season
Lewis' stay in Cincinnati included a record five straight playoff appearances without so much as one win.
Lewis leaves Cincinnati with an 0-7 mark in the post-season, the worst mark by an NFL coach. The Bengals haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season, tied with Washington for the fifth-longest futility in league history.
A third straight losing season punctuated by plummeting attendance prompted change-resistant owner Mike Brown to finally cut ties with Lewis.
Cardinals an NFL-worst 3-13
His firing Monday followed a 3-13 season, the franchise's worst record in 18 years and the worst in the NFL this season.
The 49-year-old was hired after Bruce Arians retired following five seasons in Arizona.
With Wilks' status confirmed, there is still one major uncertainty: Will wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald be back for a 16th season?
Trio of Falcons assistants axed
The Atlanta Falcons have fired offensive co-ordinator Steve Sarkasian, defensive co-ordinator Marquand Manuel and special teams co-ordinator Keith Armstrong one day after the end of the team's first losing season since 2014.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank said recently he still has confidence in coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, but changes were expected after a 7-9 finish.
The Falcons closed with three straight wins, including Sunday's 34-32 win at Tampa Bay, but it wasn't enough to save the jobs of the co-ordinators.
Only two years after their 2016 Super Bowl season, the Falcons were hurt by injuries and inconsistent play this season, Quinn's fourth as head coach.