NFL rumors: Browns looking to Ken Whisenhunt after being spurned by Josh McDaniels

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns are moving forward with their search after McDaniels spurned them on Wednesday. Elsewhere in the league, the Vikings are closing in on Mike Zimmer, Perry Fewell is staying put in New York and the Bucs and Dophins are considering a Titans exec for their vacant GM jobs.

The Cleveland Browns' hopes of grabbing Josh McDaniels as their next head coach came to an end Wednesday when the New England Patriots offensive coordinator withdrew his name from consideration. The Browns' next choice could be San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who they are scheduled to interview on Saturday, according to Adam Schefter.

The interest in Whisenhunt is a change of direction from what the organization has stated previously. CEO Joe Banner told the media that he did not plan on meeting with any of the coaches involved in the Browns' 2013 coaching search, a group that included Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt interviewed with the team twice last year after the firing of Pat Shurmur, but was passed over for Rob Chudzinski, who was fired two weeks ago after just one season.

The first time around, the Browns and Whisenhunt reportedly disagreed on assistant Mike Miller, who Whisenhunt wanted to bring along as his offensive coordinator. Miller is now in the CFL and no longer a deterrent for a potential deal.

Whisenhunt is also scheduled to meet with the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans this week.

The Browns are also still considering Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo.

Zimmer tops Vikings list, per sources

The Cincinnati Bengals had their offensive coordinator hired away on Thursday, and their defensive coordinator might not be far behind. Shortly after the Washington Redskins named Jay Gruden their next head coach, Schefter reported that DC Mike Zimmer leads the shortlist for the Minnesota Vikings job.

The Vikings were scheduled to interview Zimmer on Wednesday, after which he was supposed to head to Tennessee for a meet-up with the Titans.

The Vikings have interviewed with the Seahawks' Quinn and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Arizona's Bowles and Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

Fewell, Quinn to stay with Giants

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and special teams coordinator Tom Quinn will both be returning to New York next season, according to NJ.com.

Fewell interviewed with the Redskins for their head coaching vacancy, but plans on sticking with the Giants after Gruden was hired for that position. Despite the team's 7-9 record, Fewell's unit finished eighth in the league in total defense in 2013 and ranked in the top half in both passing and rushing yards allowed.

Quinn wasn't as successful. The Giants' special teams struggled all season, allowing three punt return touchdowns and failing to make a significant impact in their own return game. Grumblings in favor of Quinn's firing have become more and more audible among Giants fans, but it seems the team plans to hold onto him for another season.

Titans exec Lake Dawson being considered for Dolphins, Bucs GM job

Both the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have requested permission to interview Titans executive Lake Dawson for their vacant general manager positions, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.

Dawson, who currently serves as the Titans Vice President of Player Personnel, has 19 years of NFL experience as a player and exec. He played four seasons as a wideout for the Kansas City Chiefs, and has spent the last seven years on staff with the Titans.

The Dolphins fired Jeff Ireland on Tuesday and the Bucs parted with Mark Dominik two weeks ago.

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