Sunday, January 10, 2010

How did they get HERE?

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Panthers Head Coach John Fox could void the 2010 year on his current contract if he finds a better offer. More on that here.


How did the two sides get to this point? Fox is, without question, the best coach this franchise has known, and now, it would seem, the marriage is beyond repair. Knowing that 2010 could be the last season of football we see for a little while, it made sense the team didn't want to do a long-term deal with the coach, since they would have to pay him (money going out), without games being played (money coming in).

Now, though, if Fox does have the option of voiding the final year of his contract, the Panthers would be content with a different coach for a long-term deal or a lame duck coach for what could be a lame duck season.

From my seat, this does, at long last, give credence to a big-name coach replacing Fox, if he walks. Bill Cowher or even Tony Dungy could be a possibility. Dungy coming to Carolina would seem a natural fit, given Ron Meeks in place as Defensive Coordinator. That duo worked together (quite well) in Indianapolis, before Dungy hung up his whistle, and moved to TV.

Personally, I would hate seeing this happen for this team. The guys in that room love playing for Fox. They respect him. They play hard for him. They could have laid down their swords when they were eliminated from playoff contention, yet went on a 3-game win streak to close strong. Sure, they played the New Orleans back-ups, but it's not the Panthers fault. They played hard, when they could have licked a roll of stamps, and mailed it in.

I do agree that Fox wasn't due an extension, but not because of how his team played--only because of the uncertainty that is the NFL beyond 2010.

Again, Fox has the option, according to the article. He hasn't made the move. there is also the possibility, that the "sources" quoted in the article could be glue-sniffers. In the end it's yet another interesting wrinkle for a team that went 8-8 last season, and has plenty of things to deal with this off-season.

Mike Solarte

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