Breaking Rumor: John Fox to Browns Would Open Door for Bill Cowher to Panthers

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2010

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 5:  Bill Cowher stands on the field before the Baltimore Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 5, 2007 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Rumors have begun to spread in Cleveland (via cleveland.com) that new president Mike Holmgren is eyeing Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox to coach the Browns in 2010.

This opens up so many different channels of speculation because if Fox was to come to the Browns, then that means Holmgren is already leaning toward firing current Browns coach Eric Mangini.

Also, if this rumor holds any truth, then Fox, who is in his last year of his contract would have to be let go by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

According to a league source, Fox is "very interested" in the move to the Browns to work under Holmgren.

Since rumors have been circulating in the last several weeks regarding the future of Fox, one would think that Richardson and Fox would agree on a settlement to end Fox's contract which is due to pay him $6 million as the Panthers' coach in 2010.

Continuing on the speculation, what does this mean for the Panthers?

One name.

Bill Cowher.

Cowher resided in North Carolina and various rumors (via profootballtalk.com) over the last few weeks have said that Cowher is making calls and beginning to set up a coaching staff.

The Tampa Bay Bucs were said to have offered Cowher a GM and coach position, but have since denied that they are pursuing Cowher at all.

The real question regarding the Fox to the Browns rumor is why would Holmgren want Fox since they have no ties together?

One simple answer is that they know each other through their mutual agent, Bob LaMonte.

Apparently, Holmgren is compiling his "lists" of candidates for various positions in the Browns organization via his agent.

Sounds strange and a bit fishy, but who in Carolina wouldn't be happy if this went through and they wound up getting Cowher as their new head coach?

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