NFL Rumors: Robert Kraft Made ‘Aggressive’ Move To Steal Josh McDaniels Away From Colts As Deflategate Revenge

Josh McDaniels will not be headed to the Indianapolis Colts, and a new NFL rumor suggests that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made an aggressive last-minute move to keep the team’s offensive coordinator from jumping ship solely as a measure of revenge for Deflategate.

This week, reports indicated that McDaniels and the Colts agreed in terms on a deal that would make the 41-year-old offensive coordinate the team’s new head coach. McDaniels had become one of the top head coaching candidates during his time in New England, and was reportedly enticed away by the chance to coach Andrew Luck and the Colts.

But that changed abruptly on Tuesday night, with a report that McDaniels had decided to stay in New England and remain offensive coordinator under head coach Bill Belichick. Patriots owner Robert Kraft was reportedly the force behind the move, offering to sweeten McDaniels’ contract in order to get him to stay.

The abrupt change now leaves the Colts without a head coach after the team waited more than a month to hire McDaniels, with all of the other top candidates being snatched up by other teams with openings. It is not clear where the Colts will turn next for a head coaching candidate.

The move may have been a very personal one, NESN reported. League sources said that Kraft was still bitter over the Colts’ role in the Deflategate scandal, which cost the team $1 million and two draft picks, along with a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady. It was the Colts that first alerted the league that they believed New England was improperly deflating footballs during the 2014 AFC Championship Game, leading to a league investigation and the subsequent discipline.

There may be more to the deal that enticed Josh McDaniels to turn down a head coaching job. Some reports indicated that he may have been given assurances that he will take over as the team’s head coach once the 71-year-old Bill Belichick retires, though there was nothing from the team to indicate whether that might be true.

Now that Josh McDaniels has backed out of his deal to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, the team will likely have to go back to the drawing board and sort through what potential candidates remain.