Josh McDaniels became the story of the offseason when he reneged on his verbal agreement with the Colts at the last minute in order to stay with the Patriots as their offensive coordinator. He'll likely be the last assistant coach who gets the opportunity to treat another team in that same way.
According to NFL.com's Judy Battista, the NFL is expected to enact a rule that will allow teams to officially hire coaches from teams that are still in the playoffs.
Another thing: league is expected to change the rule to allow teams to hire coaches, even while their teams are still active in the playoffs. That proposal has come up before and has failed, but is expected to have greater support after the Josh McDaniels situation with Colts.— Judy Battista (@judybattista) February 27, 2018
It's a common-sense change and nobody should be opposed to it. What happened with McDaniels earlier this month only shows just how much trouble not having this rule can cause.
McDaniels agreed to become the Colts' coach during the Patriots' playoff run, but was unable to make it official until his season ended. On Jan. 15, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported thatBut McDaniels couldn't officially commit to the job until the Patriots' season ended, which didn't happen until the Super Bowl. Two days after the Super Bowl, the Colts announced that Later that day, McDaniels, who never signed a contract,
The Colts, who missed out on every other coaching candidate waiting for McDaniels, were left at the altar. They eventually. Reich isn't by any means a bad hire, but he's not the coach the Colts initially wanted. If the Colts knew McDaniels didn't really want their job, their coaching search would've played out entirely differently.
The easy solution? Allow teams to officially hire coaches even if they're still involved in a playoff run. If McDaniels had signed a contract, he wouldn't have been able to simply walk away from his commitment with zero consequences (besides suffering a hit to his reputation). It's not like a coach signing a contract during a playoff run would be too big of a distraction for a playoff team to overcome. Everyone in football -- especially the Patriots -- knew McDaniels had agreed to become the Colts' coach. Signing a contract wouldn't change things.
A rule like this would be beneficial to everyone involved. Teams won't have to be fearful of a McDaniels outcome when they're pursuing assistant coaches on playoff teams. And assistants on playoff teams won't be punished for their team's success.