The Kansas City Chiefs might not be losing their offensive coordinator after all.
The Carolina Panthers rocked the NFL’s head-coaching carousel on Tuesday, when news from Yahoo! Sports Pete Thamel broke that they were finalizing a deal to make Baylor’s Matt Rhule their next head coach.
Sources: Baylor coach Matt Rhule finalizing a deal to become next coach of the Carolina Panthers.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 7, 2020
The Panthers were one of three teams who reportedly interviewed current Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy last week. Bieniemy interviewed with the Panthers on Thursday, the Cleveland Browns on Friday and the New York Giants on Saturday.
Here is some additional insight from NBC Sports’ Peter King as to why Bieniemy was not the Panthers’ choice.
Not the issue. Panthers knew when they interviewed Bieniemy that, potentially, he wouldn’t be able to start the job for a month. That’s the issue. The 4-week head start for Rhule was a game-changing advantage. https://t.co/EGbVlbfxkw— Peter King (@peter_king) January 7, 2020
About two hours after Thamel’s report, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Giants had their head coach.
New York Giants are finalizing a deal to make Patriots’ wide receivers coach Joe Judge their next head coach, league sources tell ESPN. Deal was in the works as of last night, which is another reason Matt Rhule took the Panthers’ HC job.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2020
Patriots wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator Joe Judge will become the next head coach of the Giants, leaving the Browns job as the only other possibility for Bieniemy. The Washington Redskins hired former Panthers coach Ron Rivera earlier in the cycle and Mike McCarthy agreed to terms with the Dallas Cowboys on Monday.
The problem with Bieniemy getting the Browns position is that they are interested in a wide array of candidates.
#Browns are casting a wide net: Brian Daboll, Robert Saleh, Eric Bieniemy, Mike McCarthy, Greg Roman, Jim Schwartz, and likely Josh McDaniels and Kevin Stefanski.— John McMullen (@JFMcMullen) January 7, 2020
From a mere numbers standpoint, that doesn’t favor Bieniemy. In addition, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is still scheduled to interview with the Browns on Friday.
With every other head-coaching job settled, the Browns can now take their time, as Schefter noted.
No more need for Cleveland to rush their head coaching hire; Browns have their choice of the field.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2020
Bieniemy, 50, has been with the Chiefs ever since Andy Reid arrived to the team in 2013. Bieniemy spent five years as the team’s running backs coach (2013-17) before being promoted to offensive coordinator when Matt Nagy left to become the head coach of the Chicago Bears (2018), a position he has held for the last two seasons.
If Tuesday is any indication, anything can happen — but right now, it appears that for the second offseason in a row, Bieniemy will not become a head coach.