One of the biggest storylines of the New England Patriots’ rumor-filled 2018 offseason involved offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The CliffsNotes version looks as follows: the Indianapolis Colts offered him the head coaching position, McDaniels agreed but never signed a contract, the club announced the hire too soon, and he ultimately returned to the Patriots after owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick made a last-second push.
McDaniels’ decision to stay in New England can be interpreted in many ways: maybe he did not want to uproot his family, maybe he was persuaded by the Patriots’ offer — a five-year deal that makes him the highest-paid coordinator in football —, maybe he is Belichick’s successor in the waiting. The motivations behind the 42-year old leaving the Colts at the altar are anyone’s guess and never made it out of Gillette Stadium or the McDaniels home.
However, it appears as if one part of those motivations still is a head coaching position: according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, McDaniels “is open to potential head coaching opportunities.” How exactly those opportunities will look like is not specified, but numerous organizations certainly will be searching for new leaders next offseason including a Cleveland Browns franchise that currently is run by interim coach Gregg Williams.
Whether the Browns — his home state team — or any other team for that matter would be interested in McDaniels is a different story. On the one hand, the breakup with the Colts and his previous head coaching gig with the Denver Broncos are not exactly good advertising. On the other hand, though, McDaniels is one of the brightest offensive minds in all of football and has coordinated some of the most productive units the NFL has ever seen.
Given the nature of the NFL it would therefore not be a surprise if McDaniels once again became one of the hottest names on the coaching market over the next few months.