FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels arrived at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday with the intention of cleaning out his office to become the Indianapolis Colts head coach, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's willingness to take his mentorship to a higher level played a significant part in McDaniels reversing course, sources told ESPN.
Belichick told McDaniels that he would spend more time with him on the inner workings of the Patriots, including roster construction and salary-cap management, which was viewed as "extremely valuable" to McDaniels. It is an arrangement that owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft endorsed because it could ultimately be part of a succession plan for Belichick, although no assurances were made to McDaniels.
Belichick, 65, has been the Patriots' coach for 18 seasons and has led them to eight Super Bowls, including Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Another part of the Patriots' sales pitch that swayed McDaniels, per sources, was a long-term contractual commitment that would give McDaniels' four children, who are ages 12, 10, 6 and 3, the chance to stay in the same school system for an extended period of time. McDaniels has told those close to him that such stability is rare in the coaching profession and is something he values.
As of Tuesday morning, McDaniels was still prepared to take the Colts' job. Ultimately, the conversations with the Krafts and Belichick changed his mind, as it was new information for him to evaluate. If he had that information prior to the interview process, the way McDaniels approached interviews for head-coaching vacancies in January likely would have changed.
"After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts' new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team," the Colts said Tuesday night in a news release.