Matt Rhule said recently that he would only leave Baylor for the perfect opportunity, and the Carolina Panthers helped create that for him by making him one of the highest-paid head coaches in the NFL. Now, they may have to answer to the rest of the league’s owners.
Rhule signed a seven-year, $60 million deal with the Panthers that could be worth up to $70 million if he meets incentives. As one NFL coach told Robert Klemko of The Washington Post, other owners around the league are angry with David Tepper for shelling out so much money.
An NFC South coach, on Carolina's 7-year, $60 million contract for first-time NFL head coach Matt Rhule: "Tepper just drove the price of pork up, and I know the owners are pissed. They're gonna hurt him at the next league meetings. They might just shut him out of the room."
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) January 9, 2020
Giants owner John Mara confirmed the team would not pay the kind of money Carolina did for a first-time head coach.
Giants would NOT match Matt Rhule’s 7 year – $62M offer by the Carolina Panthers
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) January 9, 2020
While there are a few coaches in the NFL who earn more than Rhule, they are accomplished and experienced ones like Bill Belichick and Sean Payton. Rhule has never been a head coach in the NFL, so other teams could be concerned that first-time coaches will now point to the deal Rhule got from Carolina and demand massive contracts.
The coaching market isn’t as straightforward as the free agent market, so Rhule’s deal could end up being the exception for a first-time coach. Still, the amount the Panthers committed to paying him is likely a source of frustration for both other team owners and black assistant coaches who feel they are not being given a fair shot at advancing in the league.