Sport Panthers' Matt Rhule remains coveted by college programs, but he's not interested as of now
Why did the Panthers release Cam Newton? Looking back on Carolina's decision to cut ties with franchise QB
Taking a look back at the decisions that led to the Panthers releasing their franchise quarterback.He was the franchise's first-ever first overall pick, and he immediately turned the Panthers' organization around. Coming in on the heels of a 2-14 campaign, where Carolina was outscored by 212 points by opponents, the new Newton-led offense looked different.
With the NCAA coaching carousel spinning wildly in recent weeks, with a flurry of top jobs becoming available, much attention has focused on Urban Meyer (Jacksonville) and Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona). But numerous league and college sources said the NFL coach held in highest regard by many premier programs is Carolina coach Matt Rhule.
Sources said LSU had Rhule atop their wish list -- it ended up hiring Brian Kelly from Notre Dame -- as did USC and Oklahoma, the latter yet to name a coach with Lincoln Riley going to USC. Programs put out major feelers for Rhule, sources said, a coach who revived programs at Temple and Baylor and produced staffs and players who excelled as well. Rhule is in his second year of what has been a rocky tenure with the, as that team struggles to find an offensive identity and, most importantly, someone to handle quarterback duties for more than a temporary basis.
Report: Florida, Virginia Tech eyeing same head coach candidate
The Florida Gators and Virginia Tech Hokies may be competing with each other for one head coaching candidate. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network via Imagn Content Services, LLC Louisiana coach Billy Napier is poised to be a hot candidate for bigger schools as the coaching carousel heats up, and that already appears to be the case. Florida is interested in bringing him in to replace Dan Mullen, and is aware of interest from Virginia Tech as well, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. Have heard Florida has genuine interest in Billy Napier and knows that Va. Tech does too.
There have been obvious adjustments that need to be made to the pro game -- having to answer to an owner, for starters -- and Rhule has built one of the top defenses in the NFL, but college programs still wanted to gauge his interest before moving on with their searches. That is likely to remain the case next year, though it's hard to envision as many of these type of destination jobs opening up in 2022. Many close to Rhule have long maintained that the Penn State job would be the most difficult for him to turn down, but Nittanycoach James Franklin recently signed a long-term extension to stay in Happy Valley (though numerous college sources were adamant that he was hopeful of landing one of the several big jobs that opened up last month).
The Panthers will have to focus on rebuilding the offensive line and securing an answer at quarterback this offseason. Rhule is 10-18 thus far, having to coach most of those games without superstar running back, who has been repeatedly injured and will miss the rest of this season on injured reserve.
How long is Christian McCaffrey out? Injury timeline, return date, latest updates on Panthers RB .
Christian McCaffrey is going to miss time with yet another injury.The 25-year-old running back is dealing with yet another injury to his lower body. He suffered the ankly injury in the first half of the Panthers' 33-10 loss to the Dolphins. He was never declared out for the game after rolling his ankle, but he played sparingly in the Panthers' blowout loss.