Matt Rhule’s fate as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers will ultimately be decided by the work of one man and one man only. And that man is, well, Matt Rhule.
Jonathan Alexander of the Charlotte Observer joined FOX Sports Upstate’s Game On with Richmond and John on Monday to discuss Rhule’s influence as the Panthers head into a critical 2022 season. Alexander, just in case you needed a reminder, provided us with a very key detail of the regime.
“You know Matt Rhule has in his contract that he has final say over roster decisions?” said Alexander, who had reported on that fact back on Jan. 16. “So many of the decisions are at the direction of Matt Rhule, and there were some decisions that were mistakes.”
“𝙼𝚊𝚝𝚝 𝚁𝚑𝚞𝚕𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚒𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝, 𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙨𝙖𝙮 𝚘𝚗 𝚛𝚘𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚍𝚎𝚌𝚒𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜.”
𝗥𝗵𝘂𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗣𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀. pic.twitter.com/iqj9ETtMXX
— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) February 8, 2022
Those mistakes include—but certainly are not limited to—the signing of Teddy Bridgewater, the trade for Sam Darnold, the trade of Denzel Perryman and, perhaps, the choice to bypass the selection of Justin Fields or Mac Jones in last year’s draft. Although they have themselves what’ll surely be a fine young cornerback in Jaycee Horn, the Panthers are stuck quite deep in quarterback purgatory as a result of Rhule’s judgement.
Alexander went on to suggest the franchise would be better off if those decisions came more as a collective effort, in step with general manager Scott Fitterer and assistant general manager Dan Morgan.
“I do think it would be beneficial if Scott Fitterer and Dan Morgan—if they took a more collaborative approach than they’ve been taking,” he added. “Not saying that they haven’t been collaborative—but, I think, more on everybody to make these decisions.”
Hey, now isn’t that a novel concept? Allowing a general manager to actually . . . manage? Hmmm.
Anyway, there’s no doubt whose recipe the organization has been following since 2020. So, hopefully for Rhule’s sake, his experience cleaning up kitchens as a short-order cook will come in handy for the mess he’s made in his new position as team czar.