Report: Josh McDaniels 'already lining up staff' for departure from Patriots

Report: Josh McDaniels 'already lining up staff' for departure from Patriots

The New England Patriots have granted three teams permission to speak to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about their head coaching position: the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants, according to a Boston Globe report. 

The Globe also reports that the Patriots granted the Giants permission to talk to special teams and wide receivers coach Joe Judge about their head coaching opening.

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While it's unclear if McDaniels will talk any of the three teams or if Judge will talk to the Giants, Albert Breer from MMQB said on Early Edition on Wednesday night that McDaniels is already lining up staff for a potential move to Carolina or Cleveland. 

"If he's offered the job in Carolina, if he's offered the job in Cleveland and the structure is right, he'll go," Breer said. "I don't think staying here is a consideration if things are right in either of those two places. I can tell you that he's already lining up staff...You're not doing these sorts of things unless you're planning to leave. "

On a conference call earlier this week, McDaniels told reporters:  “I’m 100 percent fully invested in getting ready for Tennessee and trying to put our best performance of the season out there on Saturday night.”

The Patriots play a wild-card round playoff game Saturday against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. If New England wins, a McDaniels interview would have to take place at a mutually acceptable time between the Patriots and the team he talks to. The same would apply to Judge and the Giants. 

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McDaniels, 43, from Barberton, Ohio, has been the Patriots offensive coordinator since 2012. He was head coach of the Denver Broncos from 2009-10 and famously jilted the Indianapolis Colts two years ago after they were about to introduce him as their head coach. He changed his mind after being lured back to New England with a five-year deal that reportedly made him the highest-paid coordinator in the NFL at more than $4 million a year. 

Judge, 38, has been on the Patriots' staff since 2012. 

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.