Panthers Owner “Embarrassed” By The Contract He Gave Head Coach Matt Rhule

Panthers Owner Embarrassed By Matt Rhule Contract

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  • Panthers owner David Tepper is having doubts about Rhule’s seven-year, $62 million contract
  • Matt Rhule is in his second season with the Carolina Panthers
  • Read more football news here

Less than two seasons ago, the Carolina Panthers brought in Matt Rhule to be their new head coach, signing the former Baylor headman to a seven-year, $62 million deal. Rhule replaced Ron Rivera, who’d led the organization to four playoff appearances and a Super Bowl over his nine years at the helm. It looks like Panthers’ owner David Tepper is having a bit of buyer’s remorse.

Joseph Person of The Athletic wrote earlier this week about Tepper’s vision of the team moving forward, and whether or not the future would include Rhule on the sidelines. The owner is reportedly “unhappy and embarrassed” about the contract the Panthers offered in order to outbid the New York Giants for Rhule’s services. The word “clusterf—k” was also used when describing Carolina’s current situation.

These comments have put Rhule’s future with the team in jeopardy.

Things became even dicier after the Carolina coach bragged about the fact that he could quickly move back down to the college game and make even more money than he’s getting in the NFL. While Rhule did follow up by saying he’d rather be in Charlotte, it’s surely put a touch of doubt in the back of Tepper’s mind.

Would Rhule bail on the Panthers if things continue to go south? Would it be worth throwing even more cash at the head coach in an attempt to lock him down?

Rhule was non-committal when asked about the comments, but it’s expected that he’ll return for the 2022 season no matter how the rest of this year finishes out. Results will certainly need to be better, though, if he hopes to remain with Carolina.

There are also concerns with Rhule’s NFL background and decision-making. Prior to joining the Panthers, he’d had just a single season as an assistant at the professional level. Sources say that his tendency to keep his former college players on the roster (i.e., PJ Walker) shows a lack of judgment.

Of course, inexperience can be brushed aside when you’re successful, but Rhule has yet to win more than five games in a season.

Things started off swimmingly in 2021. The Panthers brought in Sam Darnold for a boost at quarterback. The gunslinger led Carolina to a 3-0 start looking as though he’d resurrected his NFL career. Since then, though, the team is just 2-10.

Darnold saw a drop in production, followed by an injury. Cam Newton returned to Charlotte mid-year to take over under center, but he’s not done much to move the needle, either. The Panthers possess one of the league’s most lifeless offenses, scoring just 18.5 points a game. As a result, coordinator Joe Brady was fired before his second NFL season came to an end.

That firing may have been one to provide just a bit more time for Rhule in Carolina, but the clock may be ticking faster than expected.