The news that Josh McDaniels has been passed over for the Cleveland Browns head coaching job has major ramifications on the New England Patriots.
Josh McDaniels is staying in New England… at least for now.
The Cleveland Browns have officially offered former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski their head coaching job. Stefanski will replace Freddie Kitchens, who was fired by the organization after just one year at the helm.
The news likely means that McDaniels will stay with the Patriots.
It doesn’t make sense for the 43-year-old Ohio native to make a lateral move to another franchise as offensive coordinator; the only logical reason for McDaniels to leave Foxborough is if he were to accept a head coach job elsewhere. From everything we know in the media, McDaniels is very happy in his working relationships within the Patriots organization – including with head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft, most importantly.
McDaniels staying in Boston could also have major implications on the future of one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.
Unless Brady and the Patriots come to terms on a contract extension before free agency begins in March, the 42-year-old future Hall of Famer is bound to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his illustrious two-decades-long career.
The thought in many NFL circles is that Brady would like to maintain as much normalcy and continuity as possible in 2020. Some had speculated that were he to leave New England, it would only make sense if he went to a team with a familiar face at the controls – someone like former teammate Mike Vrabel in Tennessee, or Josh McDaniels in Cleveland.
With McDaniels likely not taking another job elsewhere this offseason, it seemingly increases the chances that Brady could elect to return to the Patriots to finish out his career – or at the very least, to play another season in New England.
Of course, that’s all contingent on whether or not Belichick and Kraft want Brady back in the first place, too. It’s ultimately going to be up to the Patriots organization to determine whether or not Brady is offered a new deal before he’s allowed to test the waters of the open market this spring.
According to NBC Sports Boston’s Albert Breer, McDaniels “did very well” during his Friday interview with Browns ownership for the vacant head coaching job. The “problem,” as Breer noted in a tweet, was that McDaniels also “wanted sweeping organizational change” were he to come aboard, whereas Stefanski was more inclined to work with incumbent power figures within the Browns.
It remains to be seen whether or not McDaniels will get another crack at a head coaching job in the NFL. He was this close to becoming the head coach of Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis Colts a couple years ago, but he reneged on his offer at the last possible minute and stayed with the Patriots when last given an opportunity to move up elsewhere.
One thing is for certain though: McDaniels (presumably) staying in New England for 2020 at the very least bodes well for the odds that Brady ends up playing for the Patriots in his 21st NFL season, as well.