Although there might not be many head coaching jobs available after the 2019 season, NFL insider Albert Breer believes two potential vacancies could appeal to New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Breer explained Thursday night on NBC Sports Boston’s “Arbella Early Edition” that he believes McDaniels would leave New England to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns or the Carolina Panthers if presented with the opportunity.
The Panthers fired longtime head coach Ron Rivera earlier this month, while Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens has faced heavy scrutiny this season with Cleveland failing to live up to its lofty preseason expectations.
“I think in both spots the owners are interested in Josh McDaniels,” Breer said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “In Cleveland, he’d get to go home and he’d get to work with a quarterback in Baker Mayfield that he really likes. In Carolina, the coach is going to have a lot of power.
“He could bring someone with him, potentially. Somebody like the pro director here in New England, Dave Ziegler, could be his assistant GM. The owner there is going to give the coach some power over that. So I think in both situations there will be a chance to set things up the way that he wants to set them up.”
Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy already interviewed for the position in Carolina, and it’s unclear at this point whether Cleveland will move on from Kitchens after just one season despite the frequent drama that has engulfed the Browns. But McDaniels figures to be an enticing candidate, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he’s open to leaving New England two years after spurning the Indianapolis Colts.
“50/50,” Breer said, per NBC Sports Boston, of the chances McDaniels leaves Bill Belichick’s staff this offseason. “I would say that right now, it’s going to be based on one of those two teams giving him an offer. If the Carolina Panthers or Cleveland Browns give him an offer, set things up the way he wants it, I think that he goes to one of those two teams.”
The Dallas Cowboys also have been linked to McDaniels in rumors with Jason Garrett’s contract set to expire, so perhaps we shouldn’t rule out Jerry Jones swooping in for a splashy hire, especially if his team fails to make the playoffs or suffers an early postseason exit.