Former Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule lands on his feet quickly

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has landed on his feet quickly after his failed stint with the organization. 

It didn’t take long for former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule to find alternative employment. His disastrous three years in absolute power didn’t put off college programs from showing interest and the financial package offered by Nebraska proved too tempting to ignore.

Rhule was officially confirmed as the Cornhuskers’ head coach on a whopping eight-year deal. Something that also alleviates the financial commitments of Carolina’s owner David Tepper, who ludicrously handed him a seven-year, $62 million deal to prise him from Baylor and away from the New York Giants.

This was a mistake of epic proportions. Rhule looked out of his depth almost from start to finish and the fact he was given the final say on all personnel matters made things even worse.

Treating the Panthers like a college program was the biggest flaw from Rhule’s perspective. His talk of The Brand was never going to wash with professional players and although he never truly lost the locker room, it was a perceived lack of commitment versus the San Francisco 49ers that proved to be the tipping point for Tepper.

Carolina Panthers get off the hook with Matt Rhule’s contract

As it turns out, the billionaire is going to save a substantial sum now that Rhule has another job. According to Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network, the Panthers will not have to cough up the $34 million owed to their ex-coach after he penned a $72 million contract to make his triumphant return to the college ranks.

Rhule seemed full of optimism after the appointment was confirmed. One could argue that he’s fallen up, with his reputation for building struggling college programs at Temple and Baylor back to prominence something Nebraska is banking on rather than his complete mismanagement of team affairs in Carolina.

"“Being away from it, the more you miss the players, the more you miss the locker room and coaching. And then this is Nebraska. This is a team that I grew up not just watching; this is a team that I grew up revering.”"

In all honesty, this is a win-win for all parties. Rhule gets back in the saddle quickly and the Panthers get off the hook financially as they move forward with a new sense of optimism either under Steve Wilks or someone else in the not-too-distant future.

Whether Rhule can make a better go of things during his upcoming challenge remains to be seen. College football has changed a lot in the three years he’s been in the NFL, with NIL deals and the transfer portal becoming more prominent than ever before when it comes to forming a contender.

Rhule did the media rounds in the week leading up to this news, which wasn’t surprising. This probably brought some closure on his time in Carolina, but his excuses were a tough pill to swallow for fans that grew tired of the same speech weekly when the Panthers inevitably fell short under his leadership.

For all Rhule’s faults, he seems like a good guy. Hopefully, he can restore his reputation as a quality program builder in college, even though it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever get the chance to become an NFL head coach again.

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