Sources said a flawless storm of the NFL's new enforcement of an old rule has led to the situation where the Jets and Cardinals can't talk to one of their head-coaching candidates. But the buyout never came up because the National Football League teams, honoring the strong mandate issued at last month's ownership meeting, contacted Swann and requested permission to interview Kingsbury.
Kingsbury was hired as USC's offensive coordinator in December 2018 after he was sacked at Texas Tech. "NFL clubs that fail to follow these protocols may be subject to disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the league".
Despite the block from USC, according to team sideline reporter Paul Calvisi, Kingsbury is a serious candidate. He was just fired after going 35-40 in six years at Texas Tech, his only head-coaching experience, and he's never even been an assistant coach in the NFL.
Earlier in the week, Kingsbury was named as one of the top candidates to fill Houston's coaching vacancy following the firing of Major Applewhite. The Trojans are hoping Kingsbury can revitalize an offense that finished 91st nationally last season with an average of 26.1 points per game and 63rd nationally with 5.78 yards per play.
It's worth noting Kingsbury hasn't said anything publicly about field any offers and also has added "USC Trojans" to his Twitter profile.