Matt Rhule is reportedly finalizing a deal to become the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers, sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday. The news was first reported by Yahoo's Pete Thamel.
Panthers are giving former Baylor HC Matt Rhule a seven-year - seven year - deal worth $60 million that with incentives could be worth up to $70 million, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2020
" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reports this is a seven year deal, worth $60 million (and potentially up to $70 million with incentives).
The Baylor head coach has been open about the possibility of taking an NFL job, but most had him pegged for the New York Giants -- his hometown team, and a franchise he worked for in 2012, as Big Blue's assistant offensive line coach.
Instead, it appears Carolina has beaten the Giants to the punch. Rhule was scheduled to meet with New York later today.
"I’m not dumb, or naive enough to to say that I would never be an NFL coach," Rhule said last month. "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."
Carolina went 5-11 in 2019.
He will replace Ron Rivera, who was let go mid-season and went 76-63-1 in nine seasons. Rivera has since been installed as the Washington Redskins' head coach.
In 2019, Rhule became the first coach to lead a Power 5 team from 11 losses to 11 wins within a 2-season span. Two years removed from a 1-11 season, Rhule led Baylor to an 11-3 season in which the Bears took Oklahoma to overtime in the Big 12 Championship and appeared in the Sugar Bowl.
His Baylor tenure was on the heels of a successful 4-year run at Temple in which he debuted at 2-10 in 2013 but posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2015-16.
Rhule arrived in Waco with the program in extreme turmoil. The university was in the beginning stages of moving on from the tumultuous end of the Art Briles era, the top half of the 2016 recruiting class had walked out of their scholarships and the 2017 class consisted of one commit.
And within three seasons, Rhule had Baylor in the Sugar Bowl and himself at the helm of an NFL team.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.