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January 08, 2007

Fox doesn't have escape clause

Got to love the world of Internet rumors. The same medium (not media) that brought us the untrue story of Panthers general manager Marty Hurney having lunch with Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera last week is at it again.

This time, the hot rumor is that Panthers coach John Fox has an escape clause in his contract to jump to the New York Giants if their coaching job comes open. Let’s put that to rest right now.

A source with knowledge of Fox’s contract said there is no such clause. It just doesn’t work that way in the NFL. When the Panthers signed Fox to a five-year contract in March, they were locking him up, not signing a prenuptial agreement. Fox is under contract through 2010 and is one of the league’s higher-paid coaches (averaging somewhere between $4.5 million and $5 million per season).

There’s always going to be speculation about Fox anytime the Giants job comes open because he was incredibly popular with ownership, fans and media when he was the defensive coordinator in New York. As of this moment, the Giants still have a coach, but Tom Coughlin could be fired in the coming days.

Could the Giants make a run at Fox? It’s possible, but not likely. First, members of the Giants ownership group are close to Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who isn’t interested in losing a coach who brought his franchise back from the dead and took it to a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship Games. Second, it would cost the Giants a fortune. Although the NFL has tried to discourage trading of draft picks for coaches in recent years, it still is legal. But the Giants would have to give up a large chunk of their future to compensate the Panthers. Third, the Giants probably would have to pay Fox a good bit more than he’s making. Fourth, and this might be the biggest of all: Who’s to say Fox would want to go to the Giants? He’s in a situation where he might just need a few offseason tweaks to make the Panthers a Super Bowl contender again. The Giants are dysfunctional. They’ve got a lot of players past their prime and a quarterback (Eli Manning) who has shown nothing. They also need to replace running back Tiki Barber, and that would be difficult to do if you don’t have a first-round pick for the next few years.

Posted by Observer Sports on January 8, 2007 at 04:15 PM | Permalink

Comments

Thank God we had Pat to clear that up!

Posted by: dimbee | Jan 10, 2007 9:50:43 AM

This team needs Fox. The structure and organizational behavior guidelines that this man brought to this once 1-15 team, is something you just can't find at a retail store shelf. I'm glad he is remaining with the team to finish what he had started.

Posted by: Ralph | Jan 11, 2007 2:31:55 AM

Coach Fox isn't going anywhere for the next five years. I am not going be losing too much sleep over this nonstory.

Posted by: Adrian | Jan 11, 2007 10:03:14 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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