Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Josh McDaniels Spurns Colts

In a stunning turn of events Tuesday night, Josh McDaniels announced he was withdrawing from the Indianapolis Colts‘ head coaching position and will stay with the New England Patriots as their offensive coordinator for another season. Yes. That face you’re making right now is accurate.

How in the hell can something like this happen?

First off, here’s where we were all of an hour before I’m writing this. McDaniels was officially going to be announced as the new head coach of the Colts and the team was preparing an official press conference for Wednesday. At around 7:30 p.m. EST all that blew up completely. The Colts don’t have a coach and now the Patriots don’t have to look for a new offensive coordinator.

The Colts released a short statement around 8:30 p.m. EST.

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. 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.

Here’s what we know. The story coming out of New England is that McDaniels wasn’t too keen on moving his family out of the New England area and Robert Kraft pumped up his contract with some cash to keep him. Don’t you believe it. There’s only one reason McDaniels is staying with the Patriots and it’s because he’s got a deal in place to take over for Bill Belichick when he retires. And, after a crazy moment like this, it might be as soon as the end of next season.

That’s right. Darth Hoodie is getting ready to ride off into the sunset and Kraft didn’t want to be left without a succession plan in place. Now he has it.

There’s plenty of reasons for Belichick to be ready to hang up his spurs. He’s going to be 66 years-old in April. Tom Brady is about to turn 41 and the cliff is coming. I’m shocked it didn’t happen this season, but every year for Brady now will be a game of Russian Roulette with his skills going down the toilet. The back up and potential starter New England had that could step in is gone, playing in San Francisco.

One more year of Brady and Belichick. I think that’s all you’re going to get.

McDaniels is the obvious choice to follow Belichick and he certainly has the confidence of the Kraft family. He knows the organization, and if Brady doesn’t Thelma and Louise into a canyon, he’ll have him back, plus he gets to be involved in drafting Brady’s replacement this season. With the Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith trade rippling through the league (not to mention any potential Nick Foles trade), there’s every chance New England will see one of those first round quarterbacks fall to them at No. 31. Hell, they might actually trade up for once to grab one.

WHAT WILL THE COLTS DO?

After making the no-brain hire in paring McDaniels with Andrew Luck, Colts owner Jim Irsay now has to start from scratch. We were supposed to have all our open jobs filled as of Tuesday, but now Indy is back to square one. Who will they be looking at?

Frank Reich and John DeFilipo just won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles and would be Nos. 1 and 2 on my list, if I’m Irsay and sober. Current Tennessee Titans and former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur could also be an option. Andrew Luck is scheduled to start throwing soon and testing out his surgically repaired shoulder. It would be nice to have a coach in place when that happens.

This is a disaster that the Colts can still pull out from if they make the right hire. McDaniels was going to be that guy, but the Patriots screwed it up. Now it’s time to pick up the pieces and look at these guys that everybody else whiffed on.

PANTHERS’ HURNEY PLACED ON LEAVE

Marty Hurney can forget about having the “interim” designation removed from his general manager title. Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers announced they had put Hurney on paid leave after an NFL investigation was opened over allegations of harassment made by his ex wife.

“The club advised the league of the matter in a timely fashion, and it is being reviewed under the personal conduct policy,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement.

NFL COMBINE ROSTER ANNOUNCED

While Josh McDaniels was high-fiving Bill Belichick and Jim Irsay was kicking a rock angrily down the street, the NFL announced the full invited roster for March’s NFL Combine. You can peruse the full list by clicking here.

NCAA National Champion Alabama will be sending 14 players to the combine including running back Bo Scarbrough and wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Runner up Georgia will bring 10 men to Indianapolis, with linebacker Roquan Smith and running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb leading the pack.

MALCOLM BUTLER RESPONDS TO RUMORS ON SUPER BOWL BENCHING

He’s been accused of doing everything from missing curfew, going to a concert and even getting busted with marijuana, but benched Super Bowl cornerback Malcolm Butler came out Tuesday to refute any and all of those rumors.

“During Super Bowl week I never attended any concert, missed curfew or participated [in] any of the ridiculous activities being reported,” Butler said in a statement. “They are not only false, but hurtful to me and my family. Although I wish I could have contributed more to help my team win, I have to get ready for the next opportunity.”

Butler, of course, never played a down Sunday nigh against the Philadelphia Eagles.

What does this statement mean to me? That he’s guilty of something and probably hiding it, but the team and Bill Belichick are willing to play along so he can easily sign with another team as an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins.

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About Adam Greene

Adam Greene is a writer and photographer based out of East Tennessee. His work has appeared in USA Today, the Associated Press, the Chicago Cubs Vineline Magazine, AskMen.com and many other publications.

About Adam Greene

Adam Greene is a writer and photographer based out of East Tennessee. His work has appeared in USA Today, the Associated Press, the Chicago Cubs Vineline Magazine, AskMen.com and many other publications.

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