Carolina Panthers have become the latest NFL team to fill their coaching vacancy. According to multiple reports, Panthers hired Baylor’s Matt Rhule to be the franchise’s next head coach.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Rhule managed to command a lucrative deal to leave Baylor Bears. The 44-year-old reportedly inked a seven-year contract that will pay him $60 million. The figure could get even bigger, as he can earn $10 million in incentives.
Matt Rhule was a highly-sought-after candidate among NFL teams in recent weeks, thanks to an impressive 11–3 season with Baylor. Rhule was mentioned as a favorite for New York Giants’ job, as he spent the 2012 working as an offensive line assistant with the organization. However, the money ended up playing a crucial role.
Rhule first went to have an interview with Panthers before being set to interview with Giants on Tuesday. After receiving a big offer from Carolina, he reportedly got in touch with New York to see if they will match it. Giants refused, and he ended up choosing the Panthers.
Rhule comes to NFL with a reputation of having the ability to turn around college football programs. In the first two seasons with Temple Owls, he had an 8-16 record before improving to 20-7 in the next two.
A similar thing happened with Baylor, as the Bears went 1–11 under Rhule in his first year. Then, the Bears got to 7-6 record in 2018 before finishing the last year with 11-3.