“I’ve been coaching players for years who have been in the last year
of their contract — quite a few of them,” Fox said “That’s not going to
affect me at all. It’s called free agency.”
Fox said he will “practice
what I preach” to his players about staying focused despite contract issues.
The Charlotte Observer notes Fox will be the first Panthers coach to enter the final year of his contract. Marvin Lewis is the only other coach currently the same situation, but he’s been negotiating with the Bengals.
Fox hasn’t received an offer and isn’t expected to.
“It’s got its ups as well as its downs,” Fox said. “It probably wouldn’t be
my preference, but I’m not freaked out about it.”
It will become a major problem if the Panthers aren’t in playoff contention late in the season. None of Fox’s assistants are under contract in 2011, so could have to start looking for other jobs before they are even done in Carolina.