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LSU offensive mastermind Joe Brady set to return to NFL with Carolina Panthers

Joe Brady is set to leave LSU to return to the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. (Danny Karnik/AP)
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Joe Brady, the offensive mastermind who helped LSU to the College Football Playoff national title Monday after quarterback Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy, is returning to the NFL as the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator.

The agreement was confirmed Tuesday by a person familiar with the situation; it was first reported by ESPN. Brady, 30, is a former offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints. In Carolina, he joins the staff of new head coach Matt Rhule, who is making the jump from the college ranks at Baylor to the NFL.

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Brady was the passing-game coordinator and wide receivers coach this season at LSU, modernizing and jump-starting an offense that had been considered behind the times. Burrow, a former transfer from Ohio State, became a dominant player and was the overwhelming Heisman choice. The Ohio native is likely to be the top selection of April’s NFL draft by the quarterback-needy Cincinnati Bengals.

Burrow threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns as LSU beat Clemson, 42-25, on Monday night in New Orleans to win the championship. He became the first major college quarterback to throw 60 touchdown passes in a season.

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Panthers owner David Tepper lured Rhule, once an assistant with the New York Giants, back to the NFL with a seven-year contract reportedly worth about $62 million. Now Brady will join Rhule as the Panthers try to get back into the postseason after two straight non-playoff seasons under Ron Rivera, who was fired in December and hired this month as coach of the Washington Redskins. Rivera hired Scott Turner, who ended the season as Carolina’s offensive coordinator, as his coordinator in Washington.

Rhule and Brady will have to decide whether to retain Cam Newton, the 2015 league MVP who had his 2019 season cut short by a foot injury, as the Panthers’ quarterback.

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