Panthers To Hire Matt Rhule

The Panthers have agreed to hire Matt Rhule as their next head coach, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Panthers came to terms with the Baylor head coach shortly after meeting with him. Clearly, they did not want him to get on a plane to New York and risk losing him to the Giants, who reportedly had him at the top of their list

Rhule will receive a seven-year deal worth $60MM, according to’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The pact also includes $10MM in incentives that could boost the overall value to $70MM. It’s an eye-popping contract, given Rhule’s lack of pro experience, and positions him as one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. The Panthers will also have to take care of Rhule’s buyout with Baylor, which is believed to be upwards of $15MM.

The two sides are currently hashing out terms of a deal. Once finalized, the deal will likely place him in the top half of NFL head coaching salaries, even though Rhule has limited pro experience.

Rhule’s sole season in the NFL came with the Giants, where he served as an assistant offensive line coach in 2012. As a college coach, Rhule went 47-43 in seven seasons at Temple and Baylor. That record doesn’t necessarily jump off of the page, but NFL teams have taken notice of Baylor’s quick turnaround from the Art Briles era under Rhule’s watch.

Baylor went 1-11 in Rhule’s first season at the helm in 2017, but, this year, the Bears reached the Sugar Bowl. Baylor lost to Georgia, but that had no bearing on Rhule’s red-hot candidacy. The Panthers and Giants were both gung-ho on him and he also rejected an opportunity to interview for the Browns’ post.

Rhule takes the place of Ron Rivera, who was fired after eight-plus seasons as the Panthers’ head coach. The Panthers are coming off of a challenging season, but there’s plenty of talent for Rhule to work with. In Carolina, the focus now shifts to the future of Cam Newton, who could be let go as a part of the team’s rebuilding efforts.

Rhule, 44, is now the fifth coach in franchise history, following Rivera, John FoxGeorge Seifert, and Dom Capers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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19 comments on “Panthers To Hire Matt Rhule

  1. heartbrokentexassportsfan

    Yes. I hope the Gmen go with Garret so the boys can run him over twice a year for years to come.

    • Decius

      What does it say about the Cowboys that they wish their coaches on other franchises? How about tightening up your hiring process?

  2. acarneglia

    I think this hiring will bring new life to the Panthers. After so many years teams begin to tune out HC’s, Bellichick is the exception.

  3. bigjonliljon

    Doesn’t he have a huge buy out clause at Baylor? Like 15 million? If so, large investment for an unproven nfl head coach

    • gtb1

      Rhule will be a bust. Had a very fortunate year at Baylor but if not for Brewer could easily have had a .500 season. Not very imaginative but well liked by the players. This will benefit him and Baylor but not the Panthers.

  4. PhilliesBob1980

    Looks like Jeff Fisher will be left out in the cold yet again.

  5. crazylarry

    This shows how bad the Cowboys and Giants are. The Cowboys hire another “ yes man” and the Giants now get their leftovers. Meanwhile the Panthers move in and make it happen. Dallas and the Giants aren’t winning anything anytime soon.

  6. TJECK109

    So what does that leave McDaniel with? The browns? Or do I say what does that leave the Browns with?

  7. windycitykid89

    7 yrs/$70 mil for a coach who’s never coached in the NFL?

    Yikes. That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

    • jb19

      Way too much money. Plus the buyout of the Baylor contract. Even at 7/$60MM

    • dmarcus15

      Agree what owner signs a coach for 7 yrs. I like what he did when he took over the Baylor program but I think the expectations are going to be to much.

    • mitchrapp

      Tepper is desperate to replace Rivera and the Baylor coach is going to fail. How many championships at Baylor?

  8. Dorothy_Mantooth

    Wow… just wow! What a crazy contract for a guy with zero head coaching experience in the NFL. I loved what he did a Baylor this year and I wish him nothing but the best; however, this is a HUGE gamble and I’d be surprised if he makes it through year 4 of this deal. He seems too mild mannered to be an effective NFL coach. But I hope he proves me wrong.

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