The NFL tabled a proposal by the league's competition committee that could have prevented a repeat of a coaching candidate backing out of his deal, much like the situation involving Josh McDaniels and the Indianapolis Colts last month.
The proposed rule was officially known as Proposal G-4, although many have labeled it the "Josh McDaniels rule." Whatever the name, it was designed to allow teams to "negotiate and sign a head coach candidate during the postseason prior to the conclusion of the employer club's season."
While there was no official vote on the proposal, Colts general manager Chris Ballard -- who was left to pick up the piece after McDaniels had a change of heart -- said that he was not a proponent of the new rule.
"When you're a playoff team, you're trying to eliminate all the distractions that you can. And we're going to be a playoff team and we're going to have these issues," Ballard said, per the Indianapolis Star. "It becomes a slippery slope. We have rules in place for a reason. I think they're good rules. It gives you a chance to interview and then, after the season, whatever happens, happens. In our case, he changed his mind and we moved on."
The "he" in question is McDaniels, the offensive coordinator for Patriots who initially agreed to terms with the Colts after weeks of waiting as New England advanced to Super Bowl LII to face the Philadelphia Eagles. McDaniels, however, backed out of the agreement on the eve of his introductory press conference.
"What if you hire a guy and he's halfway in?" Ballard said. "Even though it was painful, and everybody reacted, I kind of didn't see what the big deal was. You move to the next scenario. That's just what we do. People are so scared of the unknown. I say just keep moving forward. What if a guy signs a contract and then, two weeks later, has second thoughts? What are you going to do? What are the legal ramifications?
"And that playoff team who has worked their (butt) off, they're trying to win, man. The rules are in place to protect them. It's already a distraction, but now you're creating a whole other issue."
The Colts regrouped and named Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich as their head coach last month.