Following Matt Rhule’s departure, the Carolina Panthers are still looking for their next head coach.
Rhule failed to establish himself in the league after a successful career in college football, struggling with a never-ending quarterback carousel and a subpar defense and offense.
The bar was high in Charlotte from the Ron Rivera days, so now it seems like the organization is looking to hire another top-tier head coach to lead their new era.
That’s why they were planning on interviewing Sean Payton, who’s all but confirmed that he’s coming back after a brief hiatus in retirement.
Unfortunately, the Panthers’ brass that was set to meet with Payton had to reschedule the meeting, as owner David Tepper couldn’t be in attendance, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
The #Panthers contingent that was in NY conducting coaching interviews flew home following the passing of Charlotte FC soccer player Anton Walkes. The group was to interview Sean Payton Friday. That’s now on hold as owner David Tepper spends time supporting the grieving players.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 20, 2023
Tepper, who also owns MLS’s expansion team Charlotte FC, had to leave to support his players, as the team was grieving the sudden and tragic passing of defender Anton Walkes.
The British youngster died in a boating crash in Miami after just one season with the organization.
Of course, this is a more than valid reason to rain-check their meeting with Payton, and there’s no timetable for another potential interview, at least that it’s been known of.
Notably, some still thought the Panthers were a long shot at convincing Payton to sign with them.
Their quarterback situation continues to be shaky, to say the least, and they lost their best player, Christian McCaffrey, last season.
Payton has also drawn interest from the Denver Broncos, among others, so the Panthers may have to dig a little deeper to find their new HC.