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The Latest on Matt Rhule and the NFL

Hopefully we’ll get an answer this week

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Georgia vs Baylor Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Rhule appears to be the strong favorite for the Giants job.

As Paul Schwartz of the New York Post wrote at 11:45 am today:

If Matt Rhule is not signed by the middle of this week, something has gone very wrong in the Giants’ replacement plan.

Rhule is scheduled to interview with the Giants tomorrow, per several reports. That interview will take place in New Jersey.

I’ve thought for the last week that Rhule is going to be the Giants’ next coach. I went on the SB Nation site for the Giant’s yesterday and talked with them about Rhule to the Giants. I guessed on their podcast that he’d take the job if offered:

Rhule is one of seven candidates for the Giants’ job. Josh McDaniels, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, appears to be the fallback to Rhule. But he might take the Browns job.

My theory on Rhule—if you didn’t listen to the podcast—is that he’s always wanted to be an NFL coach. While I thought for a few weeks before the Sugar Bowl that he would stay and see this through, the way he started talking more equivocally flipped me to “he’s leaving.” Rhule interviewed with the Colts after going 1-11 in 2017. There was no chance he was getting that job, but he interviewed. He nearly took the Jets job last season, and if they’d let him pick his coaches, it sounds like he was gone. Now the Giants—another New York team, and a team he worked for in 2012—want him. A man can only dance so many times to certain music before it’s clear he likes the music; Matt Rhule likes the NFL’s music.

Rhule’s buyout doesn’t seem like a deterrent. The Giants are flush with cash, and Baylor will probably lower it somewhat. Yes, some would say, “Why not force him to stay?” The rationale is that you don’t want a head coach that wants to leave. If you’re TCU basketball, and were always terrible, then you force Jamie Dixon to stay. But Baylor would probably rather have a happy Joey McGuire or a top G5 coach than an unhappy Rhule.

Maybe Rhule stays. He makes a lot of money, and he’s mentioned loving Waco and working under Mack Rhoades. The Giants’ GM situation remains a disaster.

Rhule is also a candidate for the Panthers’ job. But he seems more likely to end up home and with a franchise he’s familiar.

If Rhule leaves, we’ll turn to head coaching possibilities, and the potential for who on the staff might remain. I’d prefer Rhoades just promoted McGuire and make Phil Snow an offer he can’t refuse. That would keep the program intact.