Last night, it was reported that Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine would be flying to Cleveland today to interview for a third time for the Browns' head coaching vacancy. According to a report by Will Burge of Bleacher Report Thursday morning, the Browns "have chosen Pettine to be their next head coach," and today's "third interview" is actually a meeting to negotiate a contract:
Sources confirm #Browns have chosen Pettine as next HC. Say meeting today is not interview but contract neg. If deal is reached he is coach— Will Burge (@WillBurge) January 23, 2014
Pettine lands at Hopkins airport (yes commercial flight) at 12:32. One source said deal could be done by 5pm today if all goes well #Browns— Will Burge (@WillBurge) January 23, 2014
After Burge's report, the Browns sent out the following statement:
Team spokesman denies report #Browns have made decision on HC; "decision may or may not happen today"— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) January 23, 2014
On 92.3 The Fan, Burge was asked if he was still confident that Pettine would be hired upon hearing the above, and he said he was 100% certain that a deal would get done based on his two sources, and that the Browns' statement was likely for contract negotiation purposes.
Rumors circulated Wednesday night that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels might be back in the coaching mix, but Burge indicated that it was "just a friendly conversation" with the Browns trying one more time to see if he would be interested. Apparently, he was not, so the decision to lock up Pettine was made. We'll see if Burge's report holds true; when Pettine is officially hired, we'll have a post up on him, including reactions from the staff at DBN.
#Browns do not have an agreement with Pettine; they have an out if talks today don't go well. The "decision" is him accepting an offer— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) January 23, 2014
#Browns source mins ago: Only things that could derail Pettine hiring are contract or Malzahn suddenly showing interest. Neither likely— Will Burge (@WillBurge) January 23, 2014