Josh McDaniels could very well leave the New England Patriots for a head coaching gig in the offseason.
While McDaniels currently serves as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator — a position he has enjoyed since the 2012 season — he is expected to pursue head coaching opportunities following the conclusion of the 2019 season.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, there are two NFL teams that he expects to pursue the Patriots offensive coordinator in the offseason — the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers.
Via Justin Leger of NBC Sports:
“I think there are two jobs that Josh would have left for last year: the Cleveland Browns, the Green Bay Packers. One interviewed him and didn’t give him an offer, the other one didn’t interview him at all. I think there are two jobs he would leave for this offseason: the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers.
I think in both spots the owners are interested in Josh McDaniels. 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.”
Why the Browns and Panthers Would Be Interested in McDaniels
While the Browns currently employ Freddie Kitchens as their head coach, there are question marks whether or not he’ll return in 2020 for a second season due to Cleveland’s disappointing 2019 campaign. The Browns were expected to be in the playoffs, but instead sputtered to a slow start and will miss the postseason for the 17th consecutive year. Cleveland enters Week 17 with a 6-9 record — which is actually a regression from their 7-8-1 record from last season.
As far as the Panthers are concerned, they’re in a rebuilding mode of sorts after firing longtime head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera had served as the team’s head coach since the 2011 season and had advanced to the Super Bowl during his tenure in Carolina. Rivera was relieved of his duties following Week 13.
Odds on Josh McDaniels Actually Leaving Patriots
As far as the odds that McDaniels would actually leave New England, Breer gives it a 50/50 chance that the 43-year-old offensive coordinator will depart the Patriots.
“50/50. 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.”
McDaniels has previously served as a head coach, when he became the youngest head coach in the NFL for the Denver Broncos during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. McDaniels went just 11-17 as the head coach before his firing.
He had also agreed to become the Indianapolis Colts‘ head coach following the conclusion of the 2017 season before withdrawing from the position that same day and agreeing to return to the Patriots as their offensive coordinator.
Regardless of whether or not the Patriots win the Super Bowl this season, expect McDaniels to be one of the most pursued coaches on the market.