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AFC coaching outlook: Adam Gase's Dolphins future in doubt

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After Sunday's games, the playoff field will be set. Twelve teams will be in and the rest will be left figuring out how to be in next year. Of course, there will be changes. Teams will huddle Monday and discuss them, with some franchise-altering moves on the way.

Prior to the finale, here is a snapshot look at those teams mulling changes in the AFC (for a look at potential NFC coaching changes, click here):

Jets: The Jets are expected to fire coach Todd Bowles after four seasons, sources say. By this point in the season, all parties know this is coming. Bowles was asked about his job performance on Friday and said, "The record says it all." Three seasons in a row with, at most, five wins doesn't cut it. Bowles should draw interest from other teams with head-coach vacancies, possibly being interviewed in Arizona. When this opening is created, it will be coveted -- thanks in part to the presence of QB Sam Darnold. Packers coach Mike McCarthy and former Lions coach Jim Caldwell figure to be among the candidate the team seeks to interview. GM Mike Maccagnan is believed to be safe, though it's unclear what would happen if a candidate demands total control.

Dolphins: On its face, the resume over the past three years is respectable, including one playoff appearance and a chance at a .500 record. But inside the building, there is a ways to go. Those who make up the power triumvirate do not all see eye-to-eye, and change is on the way. No firm decision has been made by owner Stephen Ross on who stays and who goes, and sources say all options are on the table. But Ross is not happy. There is, in fact, a legitimate possibility that coach Adam Gase ends up out of work, sources say. His status is up in the air, to say the least, and he is not safe. If Gase gets fired, he'll quickly emerge as one of the top head-coach candidates, as Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has long been a fan.

Ravens: The Ravens attempted to remove all intrigue by announcing that coach John Harbaugh was going to coach with the team in 2019 and hopefully beyond. That stands. Baltimore aims to work out an extension, and Harbaugh's agent Bryan Harlan was in town to talk Sunday night. But there is a real possibility that Harbaugh coaches next year without signing and opts to play it out. That would give Harbaugh and new GM Eric DeCosta an extra year to figure out if they can mesh while also transitioning to the Lamar Jackson era. If Harbaugh does leave, he'd be among the, if not the, top candidate available -- one reason why Baltimore kept him.

Steelers: Whether or not they make the playoffs, coach Mike Tomlin is not in trouble. Far from it, even if their season is derailed by a kicker slipping and their team MVP fumbling with the game on the line. But if there are changes, they could come on the defensive side. Coordinator Keith Butler could move on or retire, while several assistants could be changed out. It would be a tinkering, not an overhaul.

Browns: Even after the surging second half of the season, Browns interim coach Gregg Williams isn't considered a front-runner or anything close for the full-time job. He will, however, receive an interview. Cleveland is expected to cast a wide net and has no mandate to keep both coordinators, despite their success. Either way, Freddie Kitchens has earned the right to be a coordinator somewhere. Among those expected to be considered or inquired about are McCarthy, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, Patriots de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.

Bengals: Unlike last year, there is no expectation owner Mike Brown will move on from coach Marvin Lewis. But that could change during a meeting between the two parties, which is likely to take place Tuesday. Lewis could also retire. The thought process when Lewis re-upped after 2017 was that it would be a two-year agreement (even if it's merely a one-year contract with a team option). Brown and Lewis will meet, discuss the plan to move forward, and then decide if they want to move forward together. Though it's unclear what it indicates, staff members were given itineraries for Monday and Tuesday during a staff meeting that included Brown this week, colleague Tom Pelissero reports. Final word on if they all return comes next week.

Jaguars: While coach Doug Marrone is believed to safe, the Jaguars are looking for a new offensive coordinator. Nathaniel Hackett was already jettisoned and whoever the new coordinator is will try to thrive in a post-Blake Bortles world. Defensive coordinator Todd Wash's status has not yet been decided. The unit is still strong statistically -- fifth in points allowed, for instance.

Update: The Jaguars announced they are retaining Marrone, general manager Dave Caldwell and executive VP or football operations Tom Coughlin for the 2019 season.

Broncos: Trying to predict the final outcome of a decision made by Broncos GM John Elway is risky. To be clear, none has been made. But after struggling down the stretch during an up-and-down second season, the likelihood is that coach Vance Joseph will be out of work. Several sources in-tuned with this situation believe there will be an opening. There is the slim possibility that the Broncos win and Elway rides the momentum to another year with Joseph. But that seems to be the only caveat. What complicates matters is that the offense struggled again this season, and QB play was an issue. Elway realizes the offense must improve and exist more on the cutting edge. That's why one possibility -- if Joseph sticks around for another year and moves on from coordinator Bill Musgrave -- is for Gary Kubiak to come down from the front office and serve as the OC. That could shore up the offense and give Joseph one final year to prove his worth. Otherwise, the Broncos could be looking for their sixth head coach in 10 years.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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