- Josh McDaniels’ decision to back out of an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts to return to the New England Patriots has been frowned upon by many.
- McDaniels’ agent, who represents Colts GM Chris Ballard and other coaches, terminated his deal with McDaniels on Wednesday.
- While McDaniels could still have a shot at some jobs in the future, some organizations will be wary of him.
On Tuesday, news broke that Josh McDaniels had backed out of an agreement to become the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach to return to the New England Patriots as offensive coordinator.
Though the Colts had already announced McDaniels as head coach, McDaniels was reportedly swayed by the Patriots owner Robert Kraft “sweetening” his deal. McDaniels reportedly felt staying with the Patriots was a better fit for him.
Though McDaniels had not signed a contract with the Colts and did not appear to violate any league rules, it appears there are still some repercussions for his decision.
For instance, McDaniels had recruited several coaches to be members of his staff. Some of them had already signed on, and are now stuck in Indianapolis without McDaniels.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that McDaniels’ agent, Bob LaMonte, who also represents Colts GM Chris Ballard and many other coaches and executives, terminated his deal with McDaniels.
According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, LaMonte told McDaniels he would be making “perhaps the biggest professional mistake of his career by backing out” of the Colts job so late in the game.
Indeed, McDaniels’ decision may leave him with something of a black eye around the NFL.
Following the news of McDaniels’ decision, the Colts released a statement saying they were “surprised and disappointed” with his decision. On Wednesday, Ballard told reporters that he didn’t care to listen to McDaniels’ reasoning for backing out.
“I live in a black and white world,” Ballard said. “Either you’re in or you’re out. I didn’t want the explanation. Either you’re in or you’re out.”
As Sports Illustrated’s Peter King noted, McDaniels is likely to be considered a villain in Indiana for some time, and many coaches will likely look down upon him for his decision. The Colts now have to begin a new coaching search with several of the biggest candidates off the market, but they need to do so quickly with the combine three weeks away.
However, it’s not out of the question that McDaniels will land on his feet if he chooses to become a head coach again. As King noted, Bill Belichick famously spurned the New York Jets and still got the Patriots’ job. McDaniels was a coveted coach because of his work with the Patriots, so while some organizations may steer clear, others will forgive him.
In the meantime, some teams will be wary of McDaniels and it appears some people are already distancing themselves from him.