The Eagles picked Doug Pederson to be their next coach before Pederson could be hired. Under the rules, the Eagles couldn’t even come to an understanding with Pederson that an agreement would eventually be reached until the Chiefs were eliminated.
Philadelphia’s decision to admit publicly that the search was over last week and the emergence of multiple reports that Pederson would get the job created the impression that, whatever the terms used, Pederson knew the job was his at a time when the Eagles weren’t permitted to tell him that.
The NFL has declined comment on the situation, and it would be easy to call it a no-harm/no-foul situation, especially since the rule preventing a team from hiring an assistant coach whose current team is still playing seems unfair, outdated, and impractical. Still, the rule remains in place, and there’s enough evidence publicly available to suggest that the Eagles blatantly violated it.
Although the Chiefs aren’t complaining about it, other teams are grumbling because of the precedent it is setting. As one source with a team other than the Chiefs told PFT, Pederson’s awareness that he would be getting the job necessarily became a distraction as he prepared for a playoff game. Although the possibility that a win on Saturday may have delayed his ability to be hired for at least one week and maybe three, knowing that he’ll be a head coach of another team after his current team loses created a completely different set of distractions immediately, from lining up his staff to selling his house to buying a new house to thinking about free agents and the draft and all of the issues that officially become matters of significant urgency the moment Pederson gets the job, but that as a practical matter already are.
The source suggests that the league wants the issue to be ignored because it makes the NFL seem toothless and incompetent on these matters, emboldening other teams to do the same thing in the future. But even if nothing is done, the rubber band has now been stretched far enough by one team to invite other teams to do the same thing in the future.