In a shocking turn of events on Tuesday night, Josh McDaniels stunningly reneged on an agreement to become the new head coach of the Colts.
His appointment had only been announced that morning and a full round of press events was already in place. "After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts' new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team," a Colts statement read.
The 41-year-old will instead remain in New England as offensive coordinator on an improved deal financially. His decision was reportedly down to a long meeting with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick that took place whilst McDaniels was at Gillette Stadium to clear out his office.
The content of the meeting is suggested to have been around McDaniels' future with the organisation as a potential successor to Belichick.
His actions leave the Colts in an incredibly difficult position, with few credible head coaching candidates remaining and a number of McDaniels assistants already under contract. The NFL world was in shock and a number of highly critical responses to the news were posted on social media by players, both active and retired, and media members.
Former Colts Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy was especially critical of the way in which McDaniels handled the situation:
As Dungy mentions, a number of McDaniels prospective assistants had already signed their contracts when the news broke. Meaning anyone that comes in now as head coach won't have complete freedom to assemble their own staff.
Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and former Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo are amongst those who are now left in the lurch as a result of McDaniels shock U-Turn.
Ex Colts linebacker Robert Mathis may have summed up the bizarreness of the situation in the most appropriate way in two simple words:
The overwhelming reaction across the football world is one of shock and wide spread criticism.
Even his agent told him he was making a big mistake.
McDaniels' actions will almost certainly affect his ability to nail down a head coaching job in the future.
For the Colts, a new search for their vacancy will undoubtedly have already begun. Candidates that should secure consideration include Eagles duo Frank Reich and John DeFilippo and Kansas City special teams coordinator Dave Toub, who interviewed for the post originally.
The move by McDaniels is reminiscent of Belichick himself, who quit as the Jets coach after just one day in 2000. It certainly damages his reputation across the league, but that might not matter.
If reports are to be believed, and they do make sense, it all may work out smoothly for him in New England with a transition into the head coaching job whenever Belichick decides to retire.
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