Former GM sees 'perfect situation' building in the NFL for Dabo Swinney, Trevor Lawrence to reunite in the pros
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has some unique personality and leadership traits that make him ideal for the college game. Yet winning at the level he has in recent years has drawn interest from the NFL, and there is reported speculation of the pros having interest in him.
That was the sentiment from former GM Mike Tannenbaum, who spoke on Get Up on ESPN on Monday about the possibility of Swinney and QB Trevor Lawrence landing in Jacksonville together. There is even an established coach in the NFL who Swinney resembles from a coaching standpoint.
“There’s a lot of speculation in the league that Dabo Swinney, who has been on the shortlist of multiple head coaching searches, could be a coach that teams want to talk about, and this would really be the perfect storm Greeny and here’s why he’s immensely popular in that area of the country,” Tannenbaum said. “And if he could go with Trevor Lawrence from Clemson right down the road in Jacksonville, with all those picks and all those cap that cap room, that’s the ideal situation.”
Money may not be an object for some NFL teams, but keep in mind that Swinney last year agreed to a 10 year, $92 million deal that runs through 2028 and includes two new clauses to make sure Swinney stays with the Tigers and stays one of the sport’s best paid coaches as long as he keeps winning. Recently, though, he reportedly took a six-figure paycut following budget cuts related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I know when talking to a number of NFL general managers, they see Dabo Swinney in the same mold of a Pete Carroll, a high energy guy,” Tannenbaum said. “Pete Carroll has been a head coach in both college and the pros. If Dabo Swinney, and that’s a big if, if he was going to do it. This is the perfect situation because in light of moving on from Leonard Fournette now, they just don’t have a lot of playmakers, they have DJ Chark. … But I think the bigger story come out of this is if Swinney would ever go, this is the perfect storm to do it with following this season.”
Since 2008, Swinney is 130-31. He led the Tigers to national titles in 2016 and 2018 while making title game appearances in 2015 and ‘19. After his first 3 seasons as head coach, Swinney led Clemson to a minimum of 10 wins per year.