Hey ... Happy New Year! Now, get the heck out of here.
As we get set for the calendar to flip to 2017, there are many folks around the league who really could use a fresh start. We dedicate this installment of the Schein Nine to those guys who need a change of scenery, with some suggestions about where they could go.
1) Sean Payton
At 7-8, the Saints are finishing up their third straight non-winning season, having gone 7-9 in each of the past two campaigns. When it comes to the Big Easy .. Payton's time is up. Payton's time was up.
The coach deserves so much credit for winning the franchise's first (and only) Lombardi Trophy and, of course, giving this proud city something to rally around in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's devastation. But it's time. His choices for defensive coordinator have been awful. The offense is still very good ... but not the same as it was at its height. It's just time.
The Rams are looking for an offensive-minded head coach with a pedigree who can win with Jared Goff, sell tickets and create a buzz in the entertainment capital of the world. The Los Angeles brass needs to pick up the phone and try to make a trade for Payton -- exactly what I said they should do the day they rightly (finally) fired Jeff Fisher. Payton checks every box.
One way or another, it's time for a change of scenery.
2) Adrian Peterson
Saying goodbye to a legend would be tough, but it's tougher to bank on an aging running back (Peterson turns 32 in March) fresh off knee surgery. Jettisoning Peterson would free up $18 million on the salary cap. Keeping him would be good for fan interest. Moving forward and investing in younger running backs (notice the plural) would be better for the franchise over the long haul.
3) Tony Romo
Dak Prescott is the guy after an unbelievable rookie season. And Romo knows that. It's time for No. 9 to go, after a fantastic run in Dallas. I hope Cowboys fans truly appreciated Romo's brilliance and domination. He survived and was above the chaos that defined Dallas in many ways over the past decade. Romo was a star and the epitome of professionalism.
Now, for teams looking to bring in Romo (who turns 37 in April), health is obviously a major question. The upside is he's a great player and leads your team to the playoffs. The downside -- and it must be said -- is he never plays a down due to injury. Thus, you have to have a legit backup plan.
4) Sheldon Richardson
The Jets defensive tackle oozes talent. But he's a knucklehead. The former first-round pick and Defensive Rookie of the Year can't be trusted off the field. And considering he's served suspensions in each of the last two seasons, Richardson could be one more transgression away from a lengthy ban. In recent months, he's made headlines for a temporary benching, social-media shenanigans and beef with teammate Brandon Marshall. The 26-year-old needs the kind of wake-up call that -- maybe -- an abrupt change of scenery could provide.
Perhaps a team like the Bengals or Cowboys would take a chance on the talented pass rusher. Richardson has one year left on his rookie contract -- at a highly affordable (considering his raw talent) $8 million -- so he could be trade bait for a team hoping he can figure out how to become a professional.
5) Mike Glennon
This past offseason, I dedicated an entire column to explaining why Glennon should be a starter in this league. He'll be a free agent this offseason, and it's high time for his exodus from Tampa Bay.
Is Mike Glennon a superstar in the making? No. But Mike Glennon can start for many teams in the NFL. Prior to Jameis Winston's arrival in Tampa, Glennon flashed an intriguing skill set, posting respectable numbers over 19 games in 2013 and 2014: 4,025 passing yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
6) Jimmy Garoppolo
It's Bill Belichick's time to strike and maximize on Jimmy G's trade value. Although an injury abbreviated his time as Tom Brady's suspension sub, Garoppolo certainly turned heads with his performance in the first two games of this season, completing 71.2 percent of his passes for nearly 500 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. That's a 119.0 passer rating. Not bad.
Belichick already has his next Garoppolo in rookie Jacoby Brissett, who will make this Schein Nine list a few years from now. And the Pats coach could have a built-in trade partner if Josh McDaniels gets a head-coaching gig this offseason. I'd love that pair in Jacksonville.
7) Greg Robinson
I'm not exactly sure which team would be best for the 24-year-old. Some organization with a fine O-line coach who knows how to motivate and develop raw talent. Bottom line: Robinson shouldn't be given another starting job in the NFL. He's officially a reclamation project.
8) Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor is a good NFL quarterback who can play. You can win with him. But he's not a star. And now that the Bills have rightly canned Rex Ryan (how the franchise got duped by this sideshow clown in the first place I will never know) and will be starting EJ Manuel in Week 17 (due to the risk of an injury that would trigger Taylor's contract options going forward), Taylor's future in Buffalo appears quite tenuous. Chances are, the Bills next coach will want to pick his own quarterback -- or at least free himself of the financial constraints of Taylor's existing contract.
I suppose a new, offensive-minded head coach -- someone like Kyle Shanahan? -- could be interested in Taylor, and provide a fresh new start in Buffalo. One way or another, Taylor needs to wind up in a situation where he is appreciated for his leadership, accuracy and athleticism.
9) Mike McCoy
And McCoy is better suited to be an offensive coordinator. Maybe a reunion with John Fox?