In the end, the New York Giants didn’t even get a chance to interview Matt Rhule.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Panthers owner David Tepper spent Monday in Waco, Texas, with Rhule and his family, and made a deal with the Baylor head coach before he could get on a plane and speak to the Giants.
“The Giants couldn’t even get a preferred coaching candidate who grew up in New York City to hear them out before he made a decision. Think about that,” wrote New York Daily News beat writer Pat Leonard. Rhule also spent the 2012 season as an assistant offensive line coach with the Giants.
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Panthers lured Rhule to Carolina with a seven-year deal worth $60 million that could be worth upwards of $70 million with incentives. Rhule signed a contract extension with Baylor back in September, but the terms of the deal were not reported. As a private school, Baylor doesn’t have to release financial terms.
Most reports had Rhule pegged as the Giants’ favorite after the Dallas Cowboys hired former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Instead, the Giants have hired Patriots special teams coordinator and Philadelphia native (and former Lansdale Catholic quarterback) Joe Judge, according to Rapoport.
Interesting, the Giants have also reportedly requested permission to speak with former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who remains under contract until Jan. 14. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Garrett is being considered as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Rhule will replace fired Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, who was quickly scooped up by the Washington Redskins last week. Rhule turned around Baylor in just three years, going 1-11 in his first year to an 11-win season and a spot in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day this season.
Prior to his stint at Baylor, Rhule spent four years as the head football coach at Temple, where he completely turned around a 2-10 program and put together back-to-back 10-win seasons. Rhule also led Temple to its first win over Penn State since 1941. All told, Rhule spent 10 seasons at Temple, first serving as an assistant from 2006 to 2011.
The Cleveland Browns are the only current team with a head coaching vacancy, after firing head coach Freddie Kitchens immediately after their season-ending loss to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals. The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports the Browns plan to interview Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz on Wednesday.