Patriots

NFL Rumors: What Panthers hiring Matt Rhule means for Josh McDaniels

NFL Rumors: What Panthers hiring Matt Rhule means for Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels reportedly had an interview with the Carolina Panthers set for Tuesday.

Apparently that's not happening.

The Panthers are finalizing a deal to hire former Baylor coach Matt Rhule as their next head coach, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported Tuesday.

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According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Rhule and McDaniels were Carolina's "top two" head coach candidates, but the Panthers were impressed enough with Rhule to lock him up before he interviewed with the New York Giants.

Rhule's pending hire leaves two possible destinations for McDaniels: the New York Giants, who are scheduled to interview him Wednesday, and the Cleveland Browns, who reportedly will meet with him Friday.

In an article Tuesday morning, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano wrote the Giants "really like" the Patriots offensive coordinator, but "they know he might not like them and their power structure."

New York already has an established general manager in Dave Gettleman who currently has final say over personnel decisions. That may be a less enticing setup for McDaniels than the Browns, whose GM spot is vacant after they parted ways with John Dorsey.

That means McDaniels would be able to bring a GM with him to Cleveland, whether that's Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio or a former coworker like Scott Pioli or Dave Ziegler.

In any case, McDaniels' current possible landing spots have been narrowed from three to two -- which also increases his chances of staying in New England another year.

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

The New England Patriots added even more depth to an elite group of cornerbacks Sunday by acquiring Michael Jackson in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Jackson, who's listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The Detroit Lions signed him off the Cowboys practice squad last season and he played in one game for the NFC North team.

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Here's an updated look at the Patriots' cornerback depth chart with Jackson in the fold:

--Stephon Gilmore
--Jason McCourty
--J.C. Jackson
--Jonathan Jones
--Joejuan Williams
--Michael Jackson
--Myles Bryant
--D’Angelo Ross

It should be noted that Justin Bethel is listed at cornerback, but most of his snaps come on special teams. 

A strong case could be made that cornerback is the deepest position on the Patriots roster. The group is led by Stephon Gilmore, who became the first Patriot ever to win the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. Gilmore is the league's best cornerback and has earned first team All-Pro selections in back-to-back seasons. 

He's not the only talented cornerback in the Patriots secondary, though. 

J.C. Jackson excelled in coverage last season, too, especially on passes beyond 20 yards. In fact, Jackson had the lowest passer rating allowed when targeted of all cornerbacks in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of the most intriguing players in the Patriots secondary is second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams. He was a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019 but saw limited playing time as a rookie.

The depth of the Patriots defense has been hit hard in recent months due to free agent departures and veterans opting out of the 2020 season amid concerns over COVID-19. One position that has remained largely intact is cornerback, and barring any significant injuries, it could be the team's most productive position this coming season.

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

The New England Patriots have added another cornerback to their depth chart.

On Sunday, they announced they've acquired Michael Jackson from the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick.


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Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (158th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami. He started his rookie season on Dallas' practice squad before being signed by Detroit.

The 23-year-old played in only one game last season for the Lions.

Jackson joins a Patriots cornerback group that currently consists of Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, D'Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel, and Myles Bryant.