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Mularkey might have lots of options

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

PHOENIX -- It's no surprise that Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is being mentioned as a candidate to be a head coach after the season the Falcons have had and his development of rookie quarterback Matt Ryan.

Detroit reportedly has received permission to talk to Mularkey. The Lions also have some other candidates on their radar. Mularkey's name has come up for some other jobs as well, so don't lock him into Detroit just yet.

Let's face it: The Lions job is one of the toughest in all of sports and isn't an ideal situation for any coach. Mularkey's a sharp guy and he walked away from a head-coaching job in Buffalo, mainly because he wasn't comfortable with the structure of the front office. Mularkey isn't going to just jump at a job because it's offered to him. He's going to look for a good situation and that could come next year.

If there's nothing particularly attractive out there, I could see Mularkey putting in another year with the Falcons. That might make his resume even better and land him in a better situation in the future. He probably also could get a nice raise from Atlanta owner Arthur Blank.