Denver Broncos fire John Fox: Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons loom

John Fox has been fired as head coach of the Denver Broncos for taking the team to the promised land of the postseason but failing to get enough done once he got them there, meaning the veteran two-time NFL coach has the option of retiring or seeking a third go-round with another team. The trouble: not counting the one that his firing just created, there are only two head coaching vacancies left, in the form of the Chicago Bears and the Atlanta Falcons. But is John Fox a fit for either?

The Bears are rudderless, mired with a mercurial franchise quarterback and a weak defense which has been adding up to losing records and borderline chaos. In both Denver and Carolina before that, John Fox showed that his specialty has come in the form of taking bad teams and making them respectable. Throw in his personal ties to existing Bears hierarchy, and it feels like strong fit. One catch: will Fox want to inherit Jay Cutler, the kind of QB he’ll be stuck with but can’t win with? The only other option is the Falcons, who just got rid of a guy in Mike Smith who fit the same mold of being able to make a bad team good but not great. In any case, Atlanta appears to be waiting for Seattle assistant Dan Quinn to become available after the playoffs.

Despite some health issues, John Fox is only 59 years old and seems unlikely to want to retire at this point. Short of taking the Bears job, John Fox may instead be inclined to take a season off and wait until next offseason when he’ll have a shot at every new vacancy, as opposed to this offseason when he was fired at a point when most teams were already well into their hiring process.