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NFL considers “Josh McDaniels rule” so coaches can take new jobs during playoffs

New England Patriots Minicamp

FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 11: Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots talks with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels during minicamp at Gillette Stadium on June 11, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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During this year’s playoffs, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels verbally agreed to become the next head coach of the Colts. But by rule, he couldn’t sign with the Colts until the Patriots’ postseason was over. And after the Super Bowl, McDaniels jilted the Colts and stayed in New England.

The NFL would like to make sure that doesn’t happen again. As a result, the league is considering a new rule that would permit coaches to sign contracts with new teams while still coaching for their old teams.

NFL Competition Committee Chair Rich McKay said he’d like to see assistant coaches allowed to sign their contracts to become head coaches with new teams, and then turn their attention back to their current teams in the playoffs, rather than being constantly distracted by questions about their new teams.

“Every year it’s become harder as the media pays more focus to those coaches and who may be going where,” McKay said. “For too many years we’ve tried to hold that line on you can’t sign a contract but you can have an understanding. We just felt like we need to get over that hurdle and say you can sign a contract. It doesn’t mean you can work, but you can sign the contract.”

Although the league is officially denying that this is a “Josh McDaniels Rule,” the reality is that’s exactly what it is: A rule to ensure that in the future, teams like the Colts aren’t left holding the bag.