Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson reportedly is not interested in the San Francisco 49ers head coaching job, which could be an indicator that either the Browns or the Giants are in the driver's seat for his services.
Various published reports Tuesday said Jackson was moving on from the Niners, and left his second interview without an offer from the Browns, who are said to be mulling options.
Jackson is the only known candidate to have interviewed with the Browns twice.
The Browns can't interview Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott a second time until after their respective teams end playoff runs.
One report said Jackson is interviewing with the Giants as early as Wednesday.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora said the Browns "remain very focused" on Jackson, and said Jackson's interview with the Giants is scheduled for Thursday. La Canfora speculated the Browns could try to beat the Giants to Jackson by making a formal offer before he met the New York brass.
ESPN's Josina Anderson also expects Jackson to interview Thursday with the Giants, who possess a Super Bowl-winning franchise quarterback in Eli Manning and a superstar wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr., something the Browns don't have.
Cleveland also has little playoff history of late. Manning has won a pair of Super Bowls with the Giants, who could add a quality DC and solve myriad problems and become a contender fairly quickly under an offensive-minded head coach like Jackson.
The New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano said the Giants' interest in Jackson is "serious."