Thanks, but no thanks. That’s basically what the Cleveland Browns heard when they reached out to University of Baylor head coach Matt Rhule following the conclusion of the 2019 regular season, hoping to land an interview with him regarding the head coaching seat made vacant by the dismissal of Freddie Kitchens on Sunday.
Rhule is garnering heavy interest from NFL teams in need of a new head coach following another successful year with the Bears, with the apparent frontrunners to land him being the New York Giants or Dallas Cowboys — assuming the latter does as expected and parts ways with longtime head coach Jason Garrett, at least in that capacity. The Browns know what they could have in Rhule, but he’s recently noted his “plan” of remaining at Baylor, which is simply a hint at the possibility of him leaving if the right NFL position presents itself.
Clearly, he doesn’t believe that is possible within the Browns organization, having reportedly declined to interview with the team, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Although disappointing to hear for Dorsey, there’s no shortage of candidates for Cleveland to sift through going forward. They have heavy interest in three assistant coaches on the San Francisco 49ers staff, including Robert Saleh, Mike McDaniel, and Mike LaFleur, all three of whom the Browns could meet within the next several days. They’ll also look to interview former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, but McCarthy is garnering a ton of interest from teams like the Giants and the Carolina Panthers — increasing the level of difficulty for the Browns in their courtship of him.
It’s a fairly wide net being cast by Dorsey in Cleveland, but Rhule won’t allowed himself to be caught in it.