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Report: Panthers head coach Matt Rhule likely to return for Year 3

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  • Matt Rhule
    American football coach

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule will likely be back for Year 3, per a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Rhule has gone 10-21 since his hiring before the 2020 NFL season. That includes five straight losses heading into the Panthers' game against the host New Orleans Saints on Sunday. But he'll have another year to get things right. Via Rapoport:

"All indications are coach Matt Rhule will return, barring an epic meltdown on the field or some unforeseen circumstance, sources informed of Carolina's plans said. Rhule should get the chance to complete his turnaround on the field in Year 3 — with the hope that improved QB play in 2022 helps achieve that goal."

Rhule and the Panthers have started three different quarterbacks this season and have largely been without running back Christian McCaffrey, who played in seven games. The injuries and lack of consistency are largely why Rhule will get another year, per Rapoport. 

Even after a loss in Week 17, Rhule is still expected to remain in charge, per ESPN.

Matt Rhule
Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers will reportedly have another year in charge. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Panthers owner reportedly 'embarrassed' by Rhule contract

The report confirms one by The Athletic's Joseph Person on Saturday. Person reported that Panthers owner David Tepper feels regret about the contract he gave Rhule, but isn't ready to fire the coach yet. 

Rhule signed a seven-year, $62 million deal in 2020 as Tepper successfully outbid the New York Giants to add him. He had overseen quick turnarounds at Temple and Baylor before the NFL. 

One source called Rhule's second year a "clusterf***," per Person, and Rhule reportedly micromanages a staff that has little experience in the NFL. Players have reportedly doubted the "process." 

Coaching carousel: Bears' Matt Nagy

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy has seemingly been on the hot seat all season. He has a 33-30 record going into the final two games of the 2021 season. 

The franchise will wait until the end of the regular season to move on from Nagy after four years at the helm, per Rapoport.

As an organization, the Bears rarely make rash moves during the season, with (chairman) George McCaskey wanting to see the final product.

After that, the Bears brass will hold discussions, and the likely outcome is that they will move on from Nagy, sources say.

The Bears have never fired a coach before the end of the regular season over the 100-plus years as a franchise.  

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