Josh McDaniels has become the NFL's perennially hot head coaching candidate. He's seemingly on everybody's shortlist for every opening. The Giants are so intrigued, they've now come calling twice in the last two years.
Last time, the Patriots offensive coordinator even made it to the final three with the Giants.
This time, many are wondering whether he'll even make it to his interview at all.
Multiple NFL sources have cast doubt on whether the 43-year-old McDaniels is as interested in the Giants as they are in him. And the reasons given are varied, from the possibility he doesn't want to leave the Patriots with Bill Belichick's future uncertain, to the idea he might not want to coach in the New York market, to the belief of some that he wants a Belichick-like control over the organization that he's unlikely to get with the Giants.
The Giants have requested permission to interview McDaniels, a source confirmed, and they do consider him to be a serious candidate and they expect he'll go through with the interview. He reportedly will do all his interviews - with the Giants, the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers -- up in Foxboro, Mass., on Friday, Jan. 10.
Still, there is considerable speculation about whether the Giants and McDaniels can be a match - mostly due to his perceived desire for power - the same power he's seen Belichick have during his 16 years of working as an assistant in New England. That is not something he's likely to be offered by the Giants, even though GM Dave Gettleman has said multiple times this week that he'd be willing to give up some of his power, if necessary for the good of the franchise.
Despite what Gettleman said, it doesn't appear Giants ownership wants a coach with that kind of power. They are seemingly comfortable with their long-time power structure of having a GM with final say over personnel decisions. What they want, as co-owner John Mara said on Monday, is a coach "that's going to be able to work hand-in-hand with" the GM.
And Mara also made it clear that the new coach is "not going to have any say over keeping Dave."
Gettleman's presence alone likely wouldn't be a deal-breaker with McDaniels. But one source said that wherever McDaniels goes, he's likely to want to bring along an executive he knows and trusts to put in a position of power. It's unclear if the Giants would be OK with that, and what it would mean for Gettleman's future.
However, that scenario could work much better for McDaniels with the Cleveland Browns and maybe even with the Carolina Panthers. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, said on Thursday that he plans to hire a coach first, and that coach "will be heavily involved in that process" to hire a new GM. McDaniels, an Ohio native and the son of one of the most successful high school coaches in Ohio history, could be a perfect fit there, though multiple sources believe that job will ultimately go to Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
And though the Panthers do have a GM in Marty Hurney, they also have a new owner in David Tepper who has said he's looking to bring in new voices to the front office, including someone to eventually succeed the 63-year-old Hurney. If McDaniels goes to Carolina, he potentially could hand-pick that guy.
So if it's power McDaniels really wants, he'll likely get more of it elsewhere. Of course, there's no guarantee he'll get either of those jobs. And as everyone knows, even if he's offered one there's no guarantee he'll take it. McDaniels' legacy is still stained by his decision to take the Indianapolis Colts job in 2018, only to back out of it just hours after the hire was announced.
That hasn't seemed to scare any teams away, though, including the Giants who have him placed high among their seven known candidates. How long he stays there, remains to be seen.