NFL Rumors: If Josh McDaniels Leaves, Kliff Kingsbury Could Be Replacement

Josh McDaniels spurned the Indianapolis Colts last offseason, backing out at the last minute to return as the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator.

But McDaniels’ time in Foxboro reportedly could be coming to an end.

McDaniels’ name has been mentioned in connection with a number of open head coaching jobs, with the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns being seen as the two teams who could pry him away from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

While the offensive guru elected to stay in Foxboro a year ago, the Patriots reportedly are “preparing for McDaniels to leave,” according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio. If McDaniels does indeed leave, New England could look at Kliff Kingsbury to fill the OC position, per Florio.

“This year the Patriots, I’m told, are preparing for McDaniels to leave with the Packers and the Browns being the two most viable opportunities for McDaniels this time around,” Florio said Sunday on NBC’s “Sunday Night Countdown,” via Dov Kleiman. “So, if he goes, who takes over for McDaniels? Keep an eye on USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. He’s only been there a month and he’s been blocked from interviewing from head coaching jobs. I’m told he might quit, pay a very low buyout and pursue NFL opportunities.”

Kingsbury was drafted by the Patriots in the 2003 NFL Draft, but spent the season on injured reserve. The Texas Tech alumni spent time as offensive coordinator at both Houston and Texas A&M before becoming the head coach at his alma mater in 2013. Kingsbury was fired in November after posting a 35-40 record in six seasons as head coach.

His “Air-Raid” offense certainly could bring a jolt of life to a Patriots offense that appeared punchless at times this season. If New England can get some weapons around Brady, then the legendary quarterback could light up the scoreboard with his former teammate calling plays.

The 39-year-old recently became the OC at USC, but reportedly has drawn interest from the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals for their head-coaching positions.

As for McDaniels, the openings in Green Bay and Cleveland both are enticing openings and the smart money would be on him linking up with Aaron Rodgers or Baker Mayfield for Round 2 as an NFL head coach.

Thumbnail photo via Rob Ferguson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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