According to reports, Baylor’s Matt Rhule will now become the head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
He replaces now Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, who spent nine seasons with the Panthers franchise, going 76-63 in his nine-year tenure with Carolina.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Panthers have agreed to a seven-year deal with Rhule, worth $60 million dollars that could rise to $70 million with the incentives that are included.
This will be the first time in Panthers’ history that they have hired a coach from the collegiate level.
The franchise had interviewed former Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, who is now the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Carolina also interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. In addition, they were scheduled to meet with New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels Tuesday, interim coach Perry Fewell on Wednesday and Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin Stefanski on Thursday.
The 44-year-old had taken over the Baylor program after Art Briles was removed from the position. He had a rough go in 2017 and 2018, going 1-11 and 7-6, respectively. Rhule finished this past college season 11-3 and led the Bears to the Sugar Bowl before eventually losing to Georgia on New Year’s Day.
The former college coach was expected to interview with the New York Giants for their head coaching opening, where he had served as the teams offensive line coach in 2012. However, he never met with the organization. The Cleveland Browns were also among suitors that were interested in Rhule’s services.
Rhule will be taking over an organization that finished with a record of 5-11 this past season and has had three losing seasons in the last four years since going to the Super Bowl a few years ago.
Being the fresh new face, his work will be cut out for him early. With his biggest decision being, what does he and the team do with Cam Newton?
Newton is set to make $18.6 million next season.