Cardinals’ Jonathan Gannon turned down more lucrative deal from Eagles, report says

Feb 20, 2023, 9:30 AM | Updated: 1:13 pm
New Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon answers a question from the media during a press c...
New Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon answers a question from the media during a press conference at Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center on February 16, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Jonathan Gannon was ready to become a head coach.

In an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, he said the deal to take over the Arizona Cardinals’ job was nearly done the day after Super Bowl LVII.

But the Philadelphia Eagles did not lose their defensive coordinator without a fight, offering him more money to stay put.

“They came back and they were like, here’s a new offer. It’s gonna pay you more than being a head coach. That’s cool and I loved it there but I wanted to be a head coach and I was excited about this because of Mr. Bidwill—Michael, as he would say—[GM] Monti Ossenfort, and Kyler.”

Gannon was the DC with Philadelphia for two seasons, and last year the Eagles were No. 8 in the league in scoring defense and No. 3 in yards allowed.

He brought former Eagles linebackers coach Nick Rallis with him to the desert to be the youngest DC in the NFL at 29 years old.

Gannon said during an on-field interview after a playoff game that he would be back on the Philadelphia sideline next season, but general manager Howie Roseman told him following the Super Bowl loss to stay in Arizona for a head coaching interview.

The Cardinals coach told King that he would not have taken the job without quarterback Kyler Murray, whom he called a “problem” during his introductory press conference on Thursday.

He said Arizona’s offense will tailor to Murray’s skillset and provided further details to King:

“I think we can take him to another level and unleash his full skill set. We’re not gonna put him in gun all the time, I’ll tell you that. We’ll have two significant offenses with his skill set: one being under center and one being in the gun. Then obviously we’re gonna do what’s comfortable with him. The way to take pressure off the quarterback and the O-line is to put him under center at times. That’s the missing piece I thought they had with Kyler. They were in gun all the time. When you’re in gun all the time, you don’t make the defense defend certain play types. Now, when you get him under center, the defense has to defend a lot more type of play types. So there’s really two offenses I see us using.”

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