Patriots OC Josh McDaniels has opted to remain in his current role after initially agreeing to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
McDaniels had previously interviewed for the Giants' head coaching vacancy, but the Giants went on to hire then-Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Giants President John Mara, GM Dave Gettleman, and Assistant GM Kevin Abrams interviewed McDaniels in Foxborough early in Janary as the Patriots were in the midst of what would end up being a Super Bowl run.
"After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts' new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team," the Colts said in a statement on Tuesday. "Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field."
McDaniels had hired three assistants to join him in Indianapolis, and those coaches will remain with the team, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
Josh McDaniels was very high on the Giants' list of head coaching candidates - definitely in the final three, and at least one source put him in the final two. Even as they seemed to be zeroing in on Pat Shurmur, there were some in the organization who wanted them to place one last call to McDaniels, just to make sure he really preferred the Colts.
Consider that a bullet dodged.
McDaniels, of course, has since been announced as the new head coach of the Colts, only to back out of his agreement with them in the same day. It was a remarkable turn of events, similar to when his boss, Bill Belichick, famously resigned as the "HC of the NYJ" on a napkin 18 years ago. There were rumors throughout the process that McDaniels wasn't completely sure he wanted to leave New England, that he had his sights set on being Belichick's successor someday.
It seemed reasonable to assume those concerns were overblown when he accepted the job. But apparently not.
Regardless, while the Giants were undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief, there could be some repercussions for them from this McDaniels about-face because the Colts now have to start fresh in their search for a new head coach. One possible candidate, whose name has already surfaced, is Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.
Why would that be a big deal for the Giants? Because DeFilippo is also a candidate for the Vikings offensive coordinator job, along with Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski, who is also a candidate for the Giants' offensive coordinator job. If DeFilippo was hired in Minnesota, Stefanski could've landed in New York. But if DeFilippo now ends up in Indianapolis instead, Stefanski would likely get the Vikings OC job, which would force the Giants to turn somewhere else.
The same thing could happen if the Colts hire Eagles OC Frank Reich, who is reportedly on Indy's shortlist too. If Reich leaves, DeFilippo would almost certainly become the Eagles OC, which would open up the Vikings job for Stefanski.
Also, former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is on the Giants' shortlist for offensive coordinator, but he was being courted by the Colts, and multiple NFL sources believed he was likely to join McDaniels' staff. The Colts still seem to want him - they had reportedly pitched him to all their head coaching candidates in interviews -- but who knows if he'll still want them with all this uncertainty? He also could emerge as a candidate for their head-coaching vacancy, too.
The Giants' offensive coordinator search was already part of a larger game of musical chairs involving multiple coaches and multiple teams. Now, thanks to McDaniels, it might have gotten a little more complicated.