The Pat Fitzgerald NFL rumors are back.
Despite 2019 being by far his worst season at Northwestern thus far, reports surfaced Saturday that the head coach turned down the opportunity to interview for the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching vacancy.
Report: Pat Fitzgerald turned down chance to interview for Carolina Panthers job https://t.co/lHizcNk3J5 pic.twitter.com/Sps0CSCvls— CollegeFootballTalk (@CFTalk) December 28, 2019
These reports come roughly a year after Fitzgerald was linked to the Green Bay Packers coaching vacancy following the Wildcats’ run to the 2018 Big Ten Championship Game. Fitz quickly dispelled those rumors by exclaiming that Northwestern is “home forever” following the ‘Cats comeback victory over Utah in the Holiday Bowl.
The article reports that the Panthers wanted to talk to Fitz at length about the position despite knowing that he likely wouldn’t budge from his comfort in Evanston. The article doesn’t give much other information other than the fact that Fitz “opted not to formally interview for the position” after the Panthers reached out.
The piece then goes on to speculate that Fitz could be a top target for the Bears with Matt Nagy headed to the hot seat after just two seasons in Chicago.
This is all just relatively meaningless speculation at the end of the day, but it just seems really odd for the Panthers to reach out after NU was legitimately one of the worst Power Five programs this past season. The Packers rumors made sense after the Wildcats’ remarkable 2018 run and Fitz’s ties to Packers CEO Mark Murphy, who promoted him to Northwestern’s head coach in 2006.
Oh, well. It’s all just rumors! Go enjoy the rest of your playoff Saturday.