Did the Patriots offer Josh McDaniels incentive to stay?

Just a few days ago, Patriots fans were prepping for the very real possibility that Josh McDaniels would once again be leaving New England to become head coach of another franchise.

That will not happen though, as we can count on McDaniels sticking around for at least one more year. And maybe, well beyond?

The big question here is why did the Patriots offensive coordinator withdraw his name from candidacy for head coach of the Cleveland Browns just four days after interviewing?

There is a lot of speculation about the reasoning behind this unusual move. At first glance, It seems unprofessional and could really hinder his chances at securing a future NFL head coaching gig.

In the aftermath of the news that McDaniels said “no” before hearing “yes,” Albert Breer of NFL Network reported that McDaniels opted to create “stability for his family,” because he has four young children and a secure position with the Patriots.

It’s an honorable motivation, but if that’s the case, why interview for the job in the first place? And if the goal was simply to get more experience interviewing, why pull the plug on the process prematurely?

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer later reported that McDaniels withdrew after asking the Browns if he’s the top candidate and being told that he’s not. If true, that’s not a great look for McDaniels, which could make other owners even more skittish about adding him in the future to a game where the supply of candidates far outweighs the eventual demand.

Adam Schefter later chimed in reporting that the Browns never said if McDaniels was or wasn't the front runner, so, who knows what happened.

One thing we do think we know is that McDaniels is considered to be the front-runner to replace Bill Belichick if and when he ever retires. So, to that end, perhaps McDaniels was given some extra incentive by New England to withdraw from Cleveland's search.

Really, it's the only thing that makes sense.

If McDaniels thought that "stability for his family" was a concern, as PFT says, why interview in the first place? The reasoning of pulling out because he wasn't the front-runner also doesn't make much sense. Why withdraw and risk that big PR hit?

So, could McDaniels be getting a title upgrade in New England? In his weekly ESPN chat, Mike Reiss speculates that it could happen one day at least.

The job McDaniels has quietly accepted is Patriots offensive coordinator in 2014. In the event that Dante Scarnecchia retires, perhaps he could add "assistant head coach" to that title.

There's still a whole lot of mystery surrounding this move, but don't be surprised if news comes to light that some sort of extra incentive was offered by New England to keep McDaniels on staff. The other reasons being reported just seem too strange, and they all conflict with eachother.