Matt Rhule got a good, hearty laugh out of being asked on Wednesday what might have happened had the New York Giants beaten the Carolina Panthers to the punch when both teams were looking for a head coach in January of 2020.
Rhule was thought by many to be the front runner for the Giants job. The Panthers got to Rhule first, though, when he returned from a family vacation. He signed a seven-year, $60 million deal and never made it to a scheduled interview with the Giants.
Rhule said “it never really got to that point” of him having an offer from the Giants.
“I got offered the job. in Carolina and took it,” Rhule said. “It just seemed like the right thing for us (Rhule and his family) at the time.”
Rhule said he did not choose one job over the other. The Carolina job was the only one he was formally offered.
“I can’t say I chose anybody over anyone,” Rhule said. “It never got to to that point with New York. It wasn’t like I was offered a job. I was offered a job by Carolina and took it.”
Rhule said his agent did have conversations with the Giants, but “it just wasn’t there, so we took this one.”
Rhule was a natural candidate for the Giants’ job that went to Joe Judge. He grew up in New York City as a Giants fan, and spent 2012 as an assistant offensive line coach on Tom Coughlin’s Giants staff.
Rhule also rebuilt programs at Temple and Baylor, and the Giants were at the time in need of a rebuild.
“I grew up dreaming of being Bill Parcells, and Phil McConkey and Mark Bavaro and Phil Simms, those were my heroes,” Rhule said. “Having a chance to work there was awesome. It was a really special place.
“I absolutely loved my time there (with the Giants). I loved the people that I met. I loved working for Tom Coughlin. I thought Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride Sr. and all the people I worked with were unbelievable. Jerry Reese took unbelievable care of me.
“I had an unbelievable experience there.”
The Panthers, though, gave him those $60 million reasons to go to Carolina rather than pursue his dream job. Can’t blame him for saying yes to that.