An arbitration lawsuit was filed on Jan. 25 by former Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, claiming that the franchise still owes him close to $5 million in severance pay, according to multiple reports.
CBS Sports was first to report the lawsuit. Rhule, who now serves as Nebraska’s football coach, was fired by Carolina on Oct. 10, only five weeks into his third season with the franchise.
John Singer, a New York City employment attorney, filed the lawsuit on Rhule’s behalf. CBS Sports reports that the majority of such issues involving coaches and NFL teams head to arbitration, according to their contracts’ terms.
Multiple parties declined to comment about the matter, including Jay Morakis of M Group Strategic Communications, a group that works with the NFL’s legal team, and a Panthers spokesperson to ESPN. The league declined comment to CBS Sports.
Rhule signed a seven-year, $62 million contract in January ’20 with the Panthers that was to pay him $8.5 million annually through the ’26 season. However, according to CBS Sports, Carolina will assert that his contract with Nebraska violates the NFL’s anti-tampering policy.
Carolina owed Rhule nearly $34 million when he was fired. Rhule, who was hired by Nebraska on Nov. 26, received an eight-year, $72 million deal to coach the Cornhuskers.
A resolution to the suit is likely to come within the next several weeks, according to CBS Sports. Rhule finished his tenure in Carolina with an 11–27 mark, When Panthers owner David Tepper announced the hiring of Frank Reich on Jan. 26, he took a shot at Rhule, saying he made a “mistake” in hiring a “CEO-type head coach.”