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As the Cleveland Browns begin the search to replace Freddie Kitchens, the organization has already reportedly been turned down by one of this year’s top head-coaching candidates.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule declined Cleveland’s request for an interview this week.

While Rule has taken himself out of the running for the Browns’ head coaching job, he is reportedly expected to be among the top candidates for the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.

Coming off an 11-win season at Baylor, Rhule is one of the most coveted head coaches this offseason. He took over a program that few coaches even had an interest in and helped reshape the culture in three seasons. Rhule’s Bears went from a one-win season in his first year to 7-6 the following year and 11-2 during the 2019 season.

Rhule, who grew up in New York and worked for the Giants in 2012 as an assistant offensive line coach, carries an excellent track record in building a team and creating an efficient, productive offense.

If Rhule decides to leave college for the NFL, the Giants would seemingly have the advantage over the Panthers given his ties to the team and area.