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#pounditThursday, May 30, 2024

Details of Matt Rhule’s buyout with Panthers revealed

Matt Rhule during a game

Aug 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Rhule was unable to make it through three seasons of the seven-year contract he signed with the Carolina Panthers back in 2020, but he still stands to make plenty of money until he finds a new job. That is likely one reason the Panthers did not wait until the end of the season to fire the head coach.

The Panthers still technically owe Rhule $40 million over the next four-plus years. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media notes that Carolina will not have to pay Rhule if and when he lands another head coaching job.

Rhule is widely expected to return to coaching at the collegiate level. By firing him now, the Panthers have assured that Rhule will be part of the next college hiring cycle. If they waited until after the season, Rhule probably would not be able to land a head coaching job for next season. In that scenario, the Panthers would have been on the hook to pay him in 2023, as well.

It had quickly become obvious that Rhule was not going to be back with the Panthers next season. He won just four games in each of his first two seasons with the team, and the future in Carolina does not look very bright. It makes sense that the Panthers made the move now.

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