Dan Mullen during a press conference on February 16. (Courtesy of Florida Media Portal/Gator Vision)

Mullen Addresses NFL Rumors

Dan Mullen may have an interest in leaving Florida for the NFL this offseason. Speculations of Mullen eyeing that jump was a hot topic after ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported it just over a month ago.

However, Mullen has not made that jump to the NFL despite the fact there were several head coaching openings at the game’s highest level this offseason.

Mullen Addressing the Rumors

For the first time since that report initially aired, Mullen was asked to address those rumors during his press conference for spring football training in Gainesville.

“I didn’t interview with any NFL teams this year,” Mullen said on Tuesday. “Most of my focus was getting us back to Atlanta. Lot of rumors out there but I didn’t speak with anybody.”

Mullen Moving to the NFL

When asked to follow up regarding his interest in making a jump to the NFL, Mullen had an interesting response.

“One thing that I think is interesting, a lot of people are trying to figure what the future of college football is going to look like going forward,” Mullen said. “I love being here at the University of Florida, I think we have a great program, we have a great fan base, great history, the opportunity to become a championship program every single year.”

“I think there are concerns with coaches is what the future of college football is going to look like, which I think there are a lot of uncertainties right now of how that’s going to shape up. That may not be completely answering your question but I think that’s the fairest way as people look at things and look at the future. What is college football going to look like in three or four years and I think there’s a lot of uncertainty with that, that we are trying to figure out as coaches to see what our futures are going to hold.”

The Future of College Football

Between the growing transfer portal that forces coaches to continually re-recruit their own players and the possible challenges regarding name, image and likeness earning potential, it’s easy to see why coaches might want out. The coronavirus has also exposed college athletics for having a financial model that’s capable of crumbling on short notice.

Former Florida and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer left the broadcast booth to join the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, becoming the third college coach in as many years to make the switch. Kliff Kingsbury went from Texas Tech to the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 and Matt Rhule jumped from Baylor to the Carolina Panthers in 2020.

Mullen’s Future

Mullen certainly has the credentials, and his resume also includes plenty of work with NFL quarterbacks, including Alex Smith, Cam Newton, Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott. Former Florida quarterback Kyle Trask will be the next Mullen-coached QB drafted. Arkansas’ Feleipe Franks could be a late-round pick as well.

Mullen has spent nearly three decades in the college ranks, including the last 16 years in the powerhouse SEC.

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