Josh McDaniels withdrew from an agreement to become the Indianapolis Colts' head coach and will remain the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator, sources informed of the situation confirmed to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo on Tuesday. McDaniels' decision was confirmed by the Colts.
"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," the Colts said in a statement. "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."
ESPN first reported McDaniels staying in New England.
Compounding the issue is that multiple assistant coaches have signed Colts contracts thinking they'd be working with McDaniels. Former Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, who was pegged as McDaniels' defensive coordinator, is among those under contract already. Garafolo reported on NFL Total Access that all indications are Eberflus -- and possibly other coaches -- will remain with the Colts under whomever they hire.
Rapoport added that McDaniels was offering Colts jobs to prospective assistants as late as Tuesday before changing his mind about the job.
Multiple reports last month pegged McDaniels as the Colts' next coach, with the partnership set to be finalized after the Patriots' season ended. McDaniels, considered one of the top NFL head coaching candidates heading into this offseason, interviewed twice with the Colts. However, on Sunday, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported McDaniels was thinking about staying in New England.
New England's legacy of success, which McDaniels has been part of, might have played a role in convincing him to stay. He has won five Super Bowls in New England since joining Bill Belichick's staff in 2001. His tutelage of Tom Brady -- arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history -- has made him a popular name among head-coaching searches for years, despite his disappointing stint with the Broncos. With defensive coordinator Matt Patricia taking over the Detroit Lions' coaching job, McDaniels will help Belichick maintain some continuity at the highest levels of his staff.
It remains to be seen who will emerge as the leading candidate for Indy's coaching vacancy. Many of the candidates the Colts interviewed last month -- Matt Nagy, Steve Wilks, Mike Vrabel, Kris Richard -- have accepted jobs with other teams.