The Matt Rhule Sweepstakes have only just begun, and they already may be winding down.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS, NFL insiders believe the esteemed Baylor coach has already determined he will either take the New York Giants job or remain in Waco.
There is a strong sense among various executives involved in ongoing NFL coaching searches that Matt Rhule is either the next coach of the Giants or staying at Baylor. The Panthers definitely want an audience with him if possible, and the Cowboys surely will too once they get around to letting go of Jason Garrett, but it just may be the Giants or nothing.
The Giants are desperate, whether they realize it or not, and Rhule is far and away their best play. I continue to hear it is a job that uniquely appeals to him and tugs at his heart strings, and he has by no means closed the door on the NFL.
Of course, it doesn’t take Nostradamus to see Rhule’s interest in the Giants job. A native New Yorker, Rhule coached previously for the Giants — for all of one season, in 2012 — and went deep into discussions with the New York Jets last January.
Rhule has been open that it would be dumb not to meet with an NFL team interested in him. He’s also been open about the parameters that would make him comfortable enough to leave Baylor:
“I’m not dumb, or naive enough to to say that I would never be an NFL coach. I just think that I have such an unbelievable situation here that it would have to be next to perfect, and even then it would be hard for me to do.
“I’m really content with where we are, and I think that we can be even better in the coming years. So it would have to be one of those idyllic situations where you feel like, ‘Hey, I can not just go here and win. I can win at a high level for a sustained amount of time in order for me to ever leave here.”
Big Blue does have a quarterback and a running back in place in Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, but it would be hard to describe a team with double-digit losses each of the past three seasons, with losing records in six of its past seven seasons, with no playoff wins since winning the Super Bowl in eight years, that’s fired its past two coaches after two years on the job, and that’s led by an unpopular GM in Dave Gettleman as anything close to “idyllic.”
It would take several reassurances from the Mara family and the allure of coaching the premier football team in his home town for Rhule to take the Giants job.
And if he was willing to consider the Jets job just 12 months ago, maybe that’s enough.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.