New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was set to become the next coach of the Indianapolis Colts, but backed out just hours after the Colts announced the hire on Tuesday.
It was rumored that McDaniels might have been scared off by Andrew Luck’s injury anomaly, or owner Jim Irsay’s tendencies to do as he pleases with the team, limiting what McDaniels could control.
On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN reported that control was a large reason for McDaniels’ decision to stay put in New England. Patriots coach Bill Belichick reportedly told his offensive coordinator that he could begin taking on more duties with the team, including roster decisions and salary cap management. New England already lost defensive coordinator/ rocket scientist Matt Patricia, who will be the next coach of the Detroit Lions.
In the past 48 hours, Patriots owner Robert Kraft began talking with Josh McDaniels and ultimately wound up sweetening his contract, helping to entice him to remain in New England, per sources. Bill Belichick has his OC back.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2018
McDaniels deciding to return to the Patriots sparked conspiracy theories suggesting that Belichick was retiring sooner than expected. While highly unlikely, it does make sense that Belichick is preparing McDaniels to be his successor, if the report of increased control is true.
The Colts were expected to hire McDaniels several weeks before they announced him as the coach, but were prohibited from officially doing so because he had yet to coach in the Super Bowl, which the Patriots lost to the Eagles.
Many potential replacements around the league took other coaching jobs during that duration, leaving the Colts with limited options. They are expected to request an interview with Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
McDaniels’ agent Bob LaMonte dropped him as a client on Wednesday.