NFL Update:Former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule sues the team/Tom Brady retires again

Former head coach Matt Rhule sues Panthers
from Pro Football Rumors with Sam Robinson, and from

As they move into the Frank Reich era, the Panthers have not fully transitioned from their Matt Rhule contract. Rhule hit the Panthers with a lawsuit recently, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports.

The two-plus-season Panthers HC filed an arbitration suit last week, seeking severance money he alleges the team is refusing to pay. Rhule is seeking offset money from the Panthers, with Jones adding $5MM is believed to be in dispute here.

Now the coach at Nebraska, Rhule landed on his feet quickly. His deal with the Big Ten program is believed to offset much of the remaining money the Panthers owed him as part of their seven-year, $62M contract agreed to in 2020. Roughly $34M remained on Rhule’s Panthers contract at the time he was fired. Rhule signed an eight-year, $74M deal with Nebraska in November.

Rhule’s Cornhuskers accord spikes in pay, going from $5.5M in Year 1 up to $12.5M down the road. His Panthers deal paid $8.5M in each season, per Jones, who adds the Panthers are expected to argue Rhule’s Nebraska contract violates the NFL’s anti-tampering policy by including increases — between the base salary and other benefits — of more than 20%.

The policy stipulates such an increase would affect the Panthers’ offset payment. The NFL’s policy does not address college jobs, but the Panthers may be set to use this clause in an effort to avoid paying Rhule the approximately $5M he seeks. It is not clear how much money the Panthers have paid Rhule to date, but Jones adds this matter is expected to be resolved in a few weeks’ time.

Panthers owner David Tepper, who is currently under investigation by the York County (South Carolina) Sherriff’s Office regarding the scrapped Panthers practice facility project, said this week he made a mistake hiring Rhule.

“I made this mistake,” Tepper said. “I think it’s a mistake to have a CEO-type head coach. OK? That’s a mistake, just in general. That’s what I kind of believe. So I think you want to get somebody who’s really good on offense or really good on defense.”

Tom Brady announces second retirement on one-year anniversary of first retirement
from Victor Barbosa, with

Tom Brady announced his first retirement from the NFL on Feb. 1, 2022. He announced his second retirement on Feb. 1, 2023.
This time, the three-time MVP says it’s “for good.”

Brady’s first retirement lasted all of nearly six weeks, before he changed his mind and announced he’d be returning for his 23rd season. “TB12’s” 2022 campaign was perhaps unlike any other, filled with struggles both on and off the field.

In October, Brady and Giselle Bundchen announced their divorce after 13 years of marriage. The couple has two children together and the fall announcement came following months of speculation and swirling rumors surrounding the power couple.

On the field, while the 45-year-old set NFL records for pass attempts (733) and pass completions (490), his 25 touchdown passes were his lowest since 2019 (his final season with the New England Patriots) and his 90.7 quarterback rating was his lowest since that year as well. Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers went just 8-9, but the record was good enough to win an NFC South division filled with below average teams.

His (apparent) final NFL contest came during Tampa Bay’s wild card round loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Brady finished the defeat 35-for-66 for 351 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

We’ll see if the “GOAT” is indeed finished this time.