"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 in a statement. "Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field."
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news.
The Colts announced McDaniels as their coach earlier Tuesday and stated a news conference was scheduled for Wednesday. ESPN's Dianna Russini reported members of McDaniels' purported staff had not been informed of his decision to stay with the Patriots until reports leaked in the press.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported some assistants, including defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, had already agreed to contracts and will stay with the team.
Schefter and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reported the Patriots sweetened McDaniels' contract and that his family also played a factor in him staying in New England. The 41-year-old Ohio native has previously cited his family as a reason for remaining with the Patriots, and the team also reportedly clarified that Belichick would return for the 2018 season, per Reiss.
This was a highly unusual situation, however—one that in some ways mirrored a decision made by Belichick 18 years ago. Belichick was the New York Jets' head coach for just one day before he spurned the organization for the Patriots.
It's unclear if McDaniels had signed an agreement with the Colts. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Sunday that the offensive coordinator was having second thoughts about accepting the job, though the deal had seemed like a formality for nearly a month.
"That's Kraft putting it to the Colts again. He will forever try and (expletive) that place ever since Deflategate," a source told Schefter.
Florio reported Tuesday night that the Colts have three candidate interviews set up within the next two days.
The Patriots lost defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to the Detroit Lions on Monday, so retaining McDaniels was a huge win. It's also fair to wonder if McDaniels now has a wink-wink agreement in place with the organization to replace Belichick when the legendary coach steps away—similar to the coach-in-waiting agreement Belichick had with New York.
McDaniels spent 2009 and 2010 as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, posting an 11-17 record.