Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who once again was bypassed for a head-coaching job during this hiring cycle, will become a free agent after Super Bowl LV on Sunday, sources told ESPN.
Bieniemy is coaching on an expiring contract. One reason a new deal has not gotten worked out, according to sources, is because neither the Chiefs nor Bieniemy expected to be in this position. Bieniemy had hoped he would have landed one of the seven NFL head coach openings in this cycle, and the Chiefs thought Bieniemy was a favorite to get one.
But between Bieniemy being bypassed and the Chiefs reaching the Super Bowl, there was no time nor need to address his unsettled contract situation.
Both sides believe they'll be able to work out a deal and ensure his return to Kansas City. Both want it to happen: Bieniemy wants to remain in Kansas City, and the Chiefs want him there, according to sources.
But many around the league still are hoping that Bieniemy won't be in Kansas City long and that he will, eventually, land one of these NFL head-coaching jobs that have eluded him.
Bieniemy, 51, has been a Chiefs assistant under head coach Andy Reid since 2013 and has been Kansas City's offensive coordinator for the past three seasons. The Chiefs' offense and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have thrived under Bieniemy, ranking first in the NFL twice over the past three seasons.
But despite interviewing for multiple positions and being considered a top candidate for several vacancies over the past two years, Bieniemy has not yet landed a head-coaching job.
Bieniemy said this past week that he won't "dwell in pity," explaining that "chemistry has not been a fit" in the various situations where he's been a candidate.
But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expressed disappointment Thursday that only two minority candidates were hired for the seven head-coaching openings in this cycle, despite a growing pool of qualified candidates.
Veteran linebacker Wesley Woodyard specifically mentioned Bieniemy on Thursday when he discussed the NFL Players Association's frustration over the lack of minority head coaches.
"We see ourselves as potential leaders within the NFL community," Woodyard said. "We aspire to be head coaches. We want to be GMs. But if you have guys like Eric Bieniemy, who's been an NFL legend, who's done great things within his offense, with the team that he's on, going to back-to-back Super Bowls -- that frustrates us as players."